2016-055th EU Specialty Food Ingredients annual Forum on Sustainability in the specialty food ingredients sector
The morning session was open to external speakers and brought together representatives of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform), of Wageningen University, of the compound feed sector FEFAC and of the chocolate, biscuits and confectionery sector CAOBISCO. This gave the opportunity to hear about SAI Platform’s work in terms of sustainable agricultural sourcing, in particular the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Programme. The audience learned how the EU-FUSIONS & REFRESH projects look at innovation and policy to reduce food losses and waste in the food supply chain in light of the 50% food waste reduction by 2030 at the retail and consumer level as foreseen by the SDG goals. FEFAC explained the opportunities and challenges related to the use of food co-products in the feed sector, notably how their use is a sustainable solution in the context of circular bioeconomy, and insisted on the need to clarify the boundaries of the feed chain, i.e. feed is not waste. CAOBISCO reported on the approach of the sector to sustainability though case studies such as improving the labour conditions in hazelnut harvesting in Turkey and engaging in private-public partnership, e.g. on cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire.
The afternoon session gave the occasion to EU Specialty Food Ingredients members to debate about sustainable sourcing in the specialty food ingredients industries. Kemin Food Technologies explained the certification of sustainably grown rosemary and spearmint extracts. BASF presented the challenges in relation to the maturity of the food supply chain, based on various examples like fish oil, palm products and coconut products. DuPont elaborated on the interest of soy as sustainable protein source.
Dr Mikkel Thrane, Chair of the EU Specialty Food Ingredients Sustainability Group and moderator of the Forum, concluded the day by reminding the role of specialty food ingredients as “sustainability enablers” and by valuing the commitment and dynamism of the sector to contribute to a sustainable food system.