A new beginning

A new beginning

  • 02 January 2014
  • Door: Judith Witte

A new year, a new beginning. And for our online readers: this new,  English-language version of the entire magazine Voedingsindustrie.
     
 After all, the major issues for 2014 are not limited to The Netherlands  alone; tackling food waste, combating food fraud, improving nutrition  and health, innovation and sustainability are all topics that extend  beyond Dutch borders.

 

The European Parliament (EP) has declared 2014 to be ‘The year  against food waste’ and aims to reduce waste by half. Because waste  occurs at all links in the chain, the EP is calling for a coordinated  approach which combines measures for individual member states with  measures for the EU as a whole. Hence, both the Dutch Ministry of  Infrastructure and the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs  have included reducing food waste in their policy for this year.

Another topic that is high on the agenda is combating food fraud. The  numerous cases of food fraud are making it difficult for those farmers  and manufacturers who do obey the rules – and that is the vast majority  of them – to regain consumer trust. And the EP strongly believes that  that trust must be won back. In mid-January, the EP adopted a resolution  for a comprehensive approach to food fraud in Europe in Strasburg. I  was there, and I interviewed MEP Esther de Lange about how the  resolution should be implemented. You can read that interview in this  edition.

That health will also continue to be a key theme in 2014 is  underlined by the agreement reached between industry associations representing food retailers (CBL), food manufacturers (FNLI), the  foodservice sector (KHN) and contract caterers (Veneca) on 23 January  about improvements to product contents and product choice. In the  Accord, the associations outline how they will work together, with each  doing their bit within their own area of responsibility, to make the  overall product offering healthier over the coming years. The scope of  the agreement is focused above all on reducing levels of salt, saturated  fat and calories (sugar) in food products. We will definitely be  revisiting this topic here in FoodinBusiness.

Tackling the issues outlined above requires innovative solutions,  lots of creativity and of course…money. The Innovation Credit is one way  of financing innovation, but there are other options too: applying for  the Herman Wijffels Innovation Award 2014, for instance. It is organised  by Rabobank, who is seeking concrete, high-potential and sustainable  innovations in terms of technology, services, processes, organisational  structures or products. Apply before 1 April 2014 via the website (www.rabobank.com). The award is open to Dutch inhabitants only with a  promising, sustainable innovation, and is divided into three categories  for 2014, including Food & Agri. A cash prize of €30,000 is  available for each category. Winning the Innovation Award can open doors  that have previously remained closed: the prize money can enable you to  turn your innovative idea into reality, give you access to valuable  networks and attract lots of publicity. Please keep me informed!

Judith Witte
 
judith@b2bcommunications.nl

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2014