Posted on

Food wastage in the fruit and vegetable sector

Food wastage in the fruit and vegetable sector

As fresh fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf life, this requires efficient logistics throughout the entire chain to prevent waste. The environmental impact of fruit and vegetable consumption is relatively low and the nutritional value high. The RIVM1 calculated that the contribution of fruit and vegetables to climate change is low. The sector is doing everything it can to keep this contribution as low as possible. This involves preventing waste and making supply chains more sustainable.

According to the European Court of Auditors, one third of the food supply is wasted worldwide. There are no specific figures for the share of fruit and vegetables. The FUSIONS3 study found that in the EU, most food is wasted by consumers – around 53%. The rest takes place across the supply chain between production and retail.

The vast majority of fruit sold in the Netherlands is labelled Class I. However, Dutch retail chaions also sell Class II. Class II products may have cosmetic defects, such as double tomatoes, bell peppers with a nose, colour deviations or minor damage. Class II is also regularly sold to wholesalers and the market.

Data analysis and digitisation help to optimise chains. Innovations such as packaging the stems of tomato plants can also help eliminate waste. Moreover, there is a constant search for ways to reduce packaging materials with a joint industry effort in the Packaging Sustainability Plan for the Industry.

To avoid food wastage due to market disequilibrium, it is essential to recognise the position of the grower and guarantee a fair price. Class classification provides clarity in the chain, fair trade and high-quality products so that food waste is prevented. There should also be chain cooperation between producer, trade and retail, as well as an appropriate purchasing policy from retail that matches the needs of the consumer as closely as possible. Food should be offered to food banks. An initiative has recently been launched in Westland, called de Groente & Fruitbrigade, where products are sorted and prepared for food banks at a central point.

Source: Groenten Fruit Huis

Posted on

Freshfel Europe, Europatat on secret to tomorrow’s sales

Under the theme “Not business as usual”, Freshfel Europe and Europatat celebrated their first-ever combined annual event on 2 nd of June 2016 in Brussels.

Freshfel Europe and Europatat celebrated their first-ever combined annual event on June 2 in Brussels.

Under the theme “Not business as usual”, following the European Commission’s work plan 2016, the conference hosted speakers from the European policy sphere as well as innovative business pioneers. With over 170 participants from both sectors, the event looked into the upcoming political and business-driven challenges for both industries.

“To reach today’s and tomorrow’s consumer, both sectors will have to rethink the way its products have been produced, packed and presented,” both associations concluded in a joint statement.

Accessibility of information, growing individualism, connectivity and the resulting societal changes have led to a ground-breaking fragmentation of today’s consumer. While price is less and less the driving element, consumers more and more connect their purchase decision to the accompanying immaterial values of the product. Aspects such as health, mental wellbeing, a sustainable and local production are driving aspects through all ages and consumer groups., the associations said in a media release.

Combining the idea of doing something ‘good’ for yourself and for others will be one of the crucial aspects of promoting products in the future, they said. How this can be applied in the potato and the fruit and vegetable industry was the dominant theme of the joint conference.

Both associations also used the event to held elections for their respective boards. Freshfel Europe re-confirmed Luc Clerx (Prominent) for another two-year period as president of Freshfel Europe as well as Stephan Weist (Rewe Group) as vice-president and Marc DeNaeyer (Trofi) as treasurer. Europatat welcomed former board member Jos Muyshondt (Pomuni) as new incoming president for the next term, while Domenico Citterio (Domenico Citterio & c.s.r.l.) and Gilles Fontaine (Desmazières) complete the board as vice-president and treasurer respectively.

Posted on

Europatat & Freshfel Europe’s hold joint annual event June 2 in Brussels

Europatat is the European Potato Trade Association, representing the interests of the seed and ware potato traders in Europe, and Freshfel Europe is the European Fresh Produce Association, representing the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain in Europe and beyond.

Europatat and Freshfel Europe will jointly celebrate their first combined annual meeting on June 2 in Brussels.

Adhering to the European Commission work programme for 2016, the common conference will be held under the theme “Not business as usual”.

The conference will review the upcoming challenges and opportunities for both sectors in light of a complex political and business environment. With a broad international line up covering policy and business perspectives, the associations will contribute to prepare both sectors for the future in an ever-disruptive environment, they said in a joint press release.

“The potato and the fruit and vegetable sector are looking back on a decade full of changes. Changes, which were at times unexpected and which penetrated all dimensions of the business. The digital revolution has shaken the business on all layers: in the production, in the supply-chain and in the interaction with clients.

“But also topics such as increased security threats, the introduction of the Russian embargo, the search for market diversification, climate change, changing consumer behaviour, the ongoing debates about an end of Schengen and trade negotiations with uncertain results are keywords, which have become constant companions of the daily business decisions.

“Successful business must learn how to manage these uncertainties and address these multifaceted challenges. Europatat and Freshfel Europe are therefore joining forces to explore strategies beyond the conventional paths – to use the sectoral synergies and to refocus both sectors sight on what is essential: good, healthy, nutritious products with a big potential,” the release said.

It went on to say that members of both associations will gain an exclusive outlook on the upcoming policy priorities given by high-level officials of the European Commission, who will highlight the Commission priorities in the field of trade, agricultural and promotion policy as well as quality and food safety.

Also to be discussed is disruption in both sectors from new competitors, “young, dynamic technology driven start-ups, who claim to have found the key to future business success.” Franziska Krauskopf, innovation advisor at TrendOne, and Hello Fresh CEO Thomas Griesel will look at the inherent potential and pitfalls of this  technology-driven evolution, while Euromonitor global consumer expert Daphne Kasriel Alexander provides a look at the top ten consumer trends and their impact on the fresh produce and potato sectors.

More information can be found on the following websites: and

Europatat is the European Potato Trade Association, representing the interests of the seed and ware potato traders in Europe. It has over 40 members, including both companies and associations.

Freshfel Europe is the European Fresh Produce Association. It represents the interests of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain in Europe and beyond and has over 200 members, including both companies and associations.