UK Food Manufacturers and Retailers Agrees to Fight Waste

March 16, 2009

I have often posted on the waste issue – highlighting the problem, looking at solutions and reporting on achievements. Now, in the UK, we have a real agreement in place and initial results that look promising.

 

Retail homepage - WRAP.jpg

from: WRAP
(click image for full story online)

 


Retailers and manufacturers are committed to working together to cut the UK’s household food waste by 155,000t or 2.5 per cent of the total waste by the end of 2010 – equivalent to $520 million and 700 000 tons of Carbon Dioxide a year.

The agreement is part of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign and has already achieved The campaign which was launched in November 2007 had already delivered a reduction of 110,000 tons in the annual amount of household food waste by March 2008.

Fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery products, dairy, meat and fish products are the biggest sources of household food waste, according to WRAP. The latest initiative will focus on eliminating waste by developing more effective labeling; pack size range, storage advice and packaging to keep food fresher for longer.

This is interesting when compared to the situation in Africa where hunger and famine are widespread. There is of course no way of saying how many people this mass of food could feed but its interesting that that in the recent Myanmar Emergency Operation by the World Food Programme people received 450 g/day of food or 0.16 ton a year so a million people would have consumed 160 000 ton a year!

 


Biomass the Oldest Renewable Biofuel – Developments

September 18, 2008

This clip from Wikipedia explains the comment in the title. Today when we talk biomass in the biofuel context we might think of switchgrass grown for ethanol, saw milling waste or soya beans for biodiesel production – but in fact the wood fire was the first example of a biomass fuel and is still a very important fuel in developing countries.

 

Biomass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.jpg


from: WIKIPEDIA
(click image for full story online)

 

This defines biomass as

Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production. Most commonly, biomass refers to plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce biofuel, but it also includes plant or animal matter used for production of fibers, chemicals or heat. Biomass may also include biodegradable wastes that can be burnt as fuel. It excludes organic material which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum.

Two recent stories illustrate what is happening in this area.

 

Biofuels brief_ Huge growth for UK biomass.jpg


from: Farmers Weekly Interactive
(click image for full story online)

 

This article considers biomass from recycled wood, processing co-products (palm kernel or distillers grains, for example), agricultural wastes (straw, chicken manure and so on) and energy crops.

It refers to announcements in recent months to develop more than 1,000MW of electricity generation from biomass. It also identifies increasing quantities of biomass being co-fired in large coal plants and used in industrial-sized operations. It expands on the activities of a number of companies.

 

Bioenergy pact between Europe and Africa.jpg


from: BIOPACT
(click image for full story online)

 

This is an amazing story of a €150 million project to produce enough electricity for 90,000 households, by burning chicken manure, that went online in the beginning of September.

The plant is owned and operated by utility company Delta, cooperative DET, ZLTO and Austrian Energy & Environment A.G. (a consortium including Siemens Nederland N.V.). It will use approximately 440,000 tons of chicken manure a year, roughly one third of the total amount produced in the Netherlands.

It is interesting that while producing electricity the project solves a number of problems from complaints by the UKto the smell produced when Holland spread manure on their fields, to the release of Methane and the high cost of alternate disposal.

The ash from the plant will be used in fertilisers. There are opportunities for the manure from the remainder of Holland’s chickens and from other countries of Europe.


Biogas in Californian Dairies

September 16, 2008

This presentation on the potential of biogas production from dairy waste in California is interesting and presents some useful data.


Challenges to Biogas Production and Use on California s Dairy Farms – Get more Legal Forms

I am able to email you this document if you require, please click here and leave the embedded text in the subject line.


The 3Rs of Pollution Prevention

September 16, 2008

This document by The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control identifies Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as the path to reducing pollution from Food Processing.

This simple document makes one think of what goes in in the process and is worth a quick read. Reducing inputs of course reduces product cost and waste and in my opinion is the preferred approach. Recycling and Reusing are reactive measures and have associated with them the waste of energy and water resulting from repeat processing.


A Pollution Prevention Guide for Food Processors

I am able to email you this document if you require please email me here with 3Rs in the subject line.


WASTE – Food, Energy, Water & Time

September 16, 2008

I have for a long time worried and talked about waste and the attention it deserves when considering nutrition in Africa.

In the past I focussed on the food which could have been available for the poor and malnourished if it hadn’t been lost and on reusing for other purposed if it couldn’t be used as food.

But now a few reports have made me come to see that this is much wider context. The first by the UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) quantified the household waste of food in the UK.

http___www.wrap.org.uk_downloads_The_Food_We_Waste_v2__2_.27e2ea28.pdf.jpg

from: WRAP
(click image for full story online)

 

This report finds that 28% of the mass and 32% of the value of all food bought in the UK is wasted.

While this is important to the UK food chain it also effects the rest of the world as the food chains runs back to the farm, maybe in Africa where 30% too much energy, water and labour have been used satisfying the UK food market!

MORE ON THIS OVER THE NEXT WHILE!


Now The Water Footprint!

August 28, 2008

We had the carbon footprint, but now its the water footprint that is threatening to constrain how we make food.

Water Footprints Make A Splash | Worldwatch Institute.jpg

from: Worldwatch
(click image for full story online)

 

The water footprint concept is introduced because of the overall shortage of water that is expected as a result of the growing population and the changes in eating habits.

Some of the interesting examples given in the article are:

it is estimated the 4,645 average liters of water that Britons consume daily leads the country to import 62 percent of its water sources

livestock production requires the most water resources in the food chain. One hamburger, for instance, needs 2,400 liters of water on average.


Waste Oil to Biodiesel in Germany

July 1, 2008

A month or so I ago I posted a story on the use of waste streams as raw materials for processing. I noted that there were cases in the USA where waste oil products from restaurants had become so valued that crime and “fat lifting” had began.

Now Petrotec have opened a 100 000 tons per year plnt to process a range of feeds, using a multifeedstock technology developed by themselves, but currently mainly using waste oil. Petrotec is based in Germany and the plant which will act as a logistics hub for the company is installed in Emden.

Company portrait.jpg

from: Petrotec
(click image for full story online)

 

They have been operating other plant since 2000 and have not encountered waste oil supply problems – they do have a three pronged approach to ensuring their supply.

There have been attempts to use waste oil in South Africa but apparently the large black market trade in used oil, means that there is not sufficient waste oil to allow the establishment of viable enterprises.