Denmark against Food Waste
“To fight food waste, we need a united movement and we believe that the setup of our think tank could serve as an inspiration for other countries and industries.”
- Anne Lerche, Head of Secretariat, ONE\THIRD
ONE\THIRD, a think tank operating as an independent organization under the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food.
Ambition behind ‘Denmark against food waste’
Short-term: Unite Danish food producers and retailers behind the commitment to halve the country’s food waste by 2030.
Long-term: Showcase a model for successful cross-sector collaboration to solve social-environmental challenges in Denmark and around the world.
Food loss and waste in Denmark and around the world
Across the global food chain, more than one third of food is lost or wasted. This amounts to 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally and 700.000 tons of food being thrown away in Denmark every year.
This has several consequences for our planet, humanity and our global economy:
Resource use: Globally, 1.4 billion hectares of agricultural land and 250km3 of water are used to produce food that is lost or wasted.
Hunger: The food lost or wasted globally could be used to feed 2 billion people.
Climate change: The global carbon footprint of food waste is estimated at 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent of GHG annually. In Denmark, the annual carbon footprint of food waste is estimated 2,3 million tons of CO2.
Economic value: Around the world, food worth $940b is lost or wasted every year.
How ‘Denmark against food waste’ prevents food loss and waste
'Denmark against food waste’ is a voluntary agreement that unites 25+ food producers and retailers behind a shared mission: to halve food waste by 2030.
This is their plan of action:
ONE\THIRD identifies partners across the food chain in relevant Danish regions.
The organizations sign a voluntary agreement to measure their progress on reducing food waste and report it to a neutral third party.
The members of the voluntary agreement co-develop a methodology and metrics to measure food waste reliably.
The applicability of the measurements is tested.
ONE\THIRD publishes a yearly report on general progress on preventing food waste and loss in Denmark.
ONE\THIRD explores possibilities to replicate the model in other regions or industries.
“We believe reducing post-harvest food loss is a flywheel to driving sustainable change in the Kenyan food system.”
- Fennie Lansbergen, Director East Africa at Enviu
Enviu, a foundation that designs and builds innovative ventures that drive the transition towards tomorrow’s economy.
Ambition behind FoodFlow
Short-term: Showcase a professional 0% loss fruit & vegetable chain for the domestic market in Kenya.
Long-term: Enable third party businesses to scale proven concepts throughout East Africa to create an inclusive commercial value chain and increase farmer’s resilience.
The African fruit and vegetable market
The African fresh-food system needs to become more sustainable.
Smallholder farmers: lack of access to technology, knowledge about farming practices, commercial markets, and financial products
Food loss: more than 40% of fruit- and vegetables is lost post-harvest
Trading chain: poor logistics and too many traders in the chain
Plan of action
FoodFlow is currently integrating four key interventions in one value chain for French beans, mangos and avocados. These interventions are developed and tested in the chain, in order to scale at a later stage.
SokoFresh – An agritech start-up piloting mobile cold storage as a service at farmgate for aggregation of produce. They work together with the local governments of the counties Murang'a, Kitui, Kajiado and Kiambu, which provide them with land to use.
Taimba – A mobile-based platform scaling the farm to fork concept. They buy produce from farmers, sell it to small retailers online, and deliver it directly to their stores.
Processing as a service for the smallholder farmer (in development).
Online market linkage, to directly link farmers to larger buyers (in development).
Partnership with PACE
PACE affiliates projects that demonstrate successful cross-sector collaboration aimed at building a circular economy. FoodFlow showcases a circular solution to preventing food waste that is co-developed by impact-driven entrepreneurs and the local government.
Below, David McGinty, Global director of PACE, and Michiel Elich, Director of Enviu, discuss the nature of the collaboration and why building partnerships is key to achieving meaningful change.
David, could you please share PACE’s vision and why you invited Enviu to join the network?
David: What makes PACE unique is our focus on leadership to solve critical issues and scale solutions through cross-sector partnerships. Enviu is a leader in developing and testing real solutions through impact-driven entrepreneurship, and we see huge potential for Enviu to exhibit how critical societal issues can be addressed and scaled through circular business solutions. Together, we can demonstrate what works and provide inspiration to the circular economy community.
And Michiel, why did Enviu decide to accept that invitation?
Michiel: Enviu has the ambition to drive dysfunctional markets, like plastics, textiles, shipping, and food, towards becoming sustainable and inclusive. As David mentioned, we are a serial social entrepreneur and pioneer that turns this huge ambition into action by creating, piloting, and building game-changing business models and proving their viability. But if we really want systemic change to happen, we need intense collaboration within a market or value chain, with partners and stakeholders joining forces for the greater good. That’s why we are very excited to join PACE and work together with their like-minded partners.
What synergies do you both seek to achieve through this partnership?
Michiel: First of all, we are looking for mission- and value-aligned partners of PACE to collaborate on bringing the promising business models we’re working on to scale. Secondly, we believe these models can be used to showcase that viable alternatives do exist, paving the way for policymakers and other stakeholders to create the right ecosystem for change. Thirdly, with our on-the-ground entrepreneurial approach and proven venture building methodology, we are eager to support PACE's partners in realizing their ambitions and co-developing innovative solutions, not to add some circularity to a current business, but to truly reshape value chains and build a sustainable new normal.
David: As with all of our affiliated projects, our goal at PACE is to contribute to acceleration and scale, and to learn lessons that can be passed on to the rest of our community. Creating a circular economy will take real systems change, but it will also require that we move quickly to pioneer new ideas, test out what works, and then scale them up. That’s what we aim to contribute to with our affiliated projects, including FoodFlow and our partnership with Enviu. In that sense, entrepreneurship is at the heart of our model.
Enviu is driving systemic change in multiple sectors. PACE picked the program FoodFlow as a first showcase. Why did you choose this specific program?
David: We see Enviu’s ambition for FoodFlow as a great example of a circular solution to preventing and recovering food loss. We were particularly interested in the involvement of the local government in enabling those solutions. Moreover, the goals of the program, looking to create jobs and increase the income for smallholder farmers as well as increase food security, resonate with the mission of our funders and partners.
Michiel, can you tell us a bit more about FoodFlow? What inspired you to launch it and what does it hope to achieve?
Michiel: In East Africa almost half of all fruits and vegetables are lost on their route to market. This has consequences, it means farmers can’t earn a real living, that there isn’t enough nutritious, affordable food and both resources and carbon emissions are being wasted on food that never makes it to market. To feed the growing population, the amount of food reaching the market needs to see a 60% increase by 2050.
Our FoodFlow program creates a showcase value chain for French beans, mangos and avocados by developing the technology needed to drive out post-harvest losses and create a flourishing value chain for all. Our ambition is to build a value chain made up of sustainable, circular business models, achieving 0% post-harvest loss, increasing incomes and improving food security. The goal is to grow this showcase chain to other crops and regions throughout East Africa and beyond. Joining forces with the group of food experts within the PACE network and building on their successes, failures, skills, technologies and network, will immensely help to realize the envisioned change.
10X20x30 Food Loss and Waste Initiative
Bring together 10 of the world’s biggest food retailers and providers to each engage with 20 of their priority suppliers to halve rates of food loss and waste by 2030.
World Resources Institute
Pick n Pay
The Savola Group
Ellen MacArthur Food Initiative
Long term ambition
Create unstoppable momentum towards a regenerative food system based on the principles of a circular economy.
The linear food system is ripe for disruption. While the industrial food system has generated many benefits, it is also highly extractive and wasteful, proving to be unfit to feed the world in a way that is healthy both for people and natural systems in the long term
The circular economy offers a vision for a food system fit for the future
Cities can trigger a shift to a better food system. Businesses, public bodies, organisations, and people within cities can accelerate the global transition to a healthy, regenerative food system underpinned by circular economy principles
Mobilise a cross-sector public-private stakeholder consortium to realise the circular model for food in cities around the world
Illustrate the vision with a number of city demonstrator projects
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Cities and Circular Economy for Food report aims to highlight the often under appreciated role urban food actors can play to drive food system transformation. The report aims to demonstrate that using the catalytic potential of cities to spark change can be a powerful addition to the landscape of efforts needed to transform our relationship with food, highlighting that now is the time to make it happen.