What’s on the menu? Products that have almost passed their sell-by date…

What’s on the menu? Products that have almost passed their sell-by date…

Supermarkets have an iron rule: once their expiry date gets too close, goods are withdrawn from sale and eliminated as waste. The CHAMP project was developed, notably at the behest of the university research centre Wageningen UR, in order to find ways to counter this senseless amount of waste. This project strives for the commercial reutilisation of food products that have almost exceeded their shelf life in order to prepare alternative meals…

New meals, less waste

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Products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, bread and even non-perishable foodstuffs are removed from the shelves of the supermarkets before the expiry date is passed. They are then transformed in a central processing site into appetising, safe, healthy and high-quality meals, or repackaged as products and ingredients for different target groups and markets while preserving their intrinsic nutritive value. In collaboration with the partners Plus Rozenburg, Eindeloos and Hutten Catering, a system was developed in order to ensure that these products, which would otherwise normally be discarded, are preserved for human consumption.

An honourable ambition

The CHAMP project’s ambition is to reduce food losses in the supermarket chains. Within this perspective, Wageningen UR, a major university research centre in the Netherlands, is contributing to the design, optimisation and organisation of these chains, notably by assuring the proper legal framework. The logistics of the concept are ready, and various dishes are now in the testing phase. The next stage will see them launched in the PLUS supermarkets.

The success of this innovative project and its transposition to a larger scale should permit the supermarket chains of the Netherlands to reduce their food waste by up to 150 million kilos per year!

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