A place where neither food nor talent is wasted

Welcome to Duty Calls. This regular feature aims to shine a light on some of the most laudable examples of altruism and sustainability within the travel retail industry by companies that go beyond the call of duty. In this issue, we explore how “social, circular and commercial enterprises can all join together” in an innovative sustainability project at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Sustainable initiative: Soup & Bakery by De Verspillingsfabriek is located at Schiphol Plaza.

‘Lost’ vegetables are being given a new lease of life at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with the opening of a sustainable food concession.

Soup & Bakery by De Verspillingsfabriek is a joint initiative between HMSHost International, the airport and De Verspillingsfabriek (The Surplus Food Factory).

De Verspillingsfabriek was set up to tackle the problem of food wastage. The company says at least €5 billion worth of food is thrown away in the Netherlands every year, even though much of it is still edible. De Verspillingsfabriek’s solution offers the food industry a new use for ‘lost vegetables’ – those considered to be too small, the wrong shape or wrongly coloured.

Soups including tomato soup and pea soup are available now at Soup & Bakery by De Verspillingsfabriek.

These vegetables, as well as trimmings, cuttings and stalks, are used by De Verspillingsfabriek to cook a variety of soups based on special recipes, which are now being offered at the new Schiphol outlet.

Ensuring that human talent is not wasted either, the soups are being made by people with a disadvantage on the labour market, the partners said.

The outlet also features a Zorgbakkerij van Hutten bakery, offering sausage rolls, pastries, muffins and brownies. The products are baked according to recipes that feature less sugar and salt and use healthier fats. The bakery employs individuals with a hearing impairment, in keeping with the theme of employing diverse human talent.

Soup & Bakery by De Verspillingsfabriek is located at Schiphol Plaza.

“I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we are very proud to welcome this newest addition to Schiphol’s hospitality range,” says HMSHost Schiphol General Manager Ad Willemsen. “A joint approach really allows true change to be realised. This project shows that we waste neither food nor talent, but deploy them to create new products.”

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Director of Consumer Products & Services Tanja Dik says there are multiple upsides to the joint sustainability initiative. “Vegetables don’t necessarily have to look their very best to be consumed at Schiphol,” she notes. “Besides providing a new use for residual streams from the food industry, we are also offering our visitors a healthy and well-considered choice with the addition of De Verspillingsfabriek to our range.

De Verspillingsfabriek was set up to tackle the problem of food wastage and offers the food industry a new use for ‘lost vegetables’.

“We are really looking forward to this collaboration and will be making every attempt to incorporate such sustainable initiatives in the range of shops and catering outlets at Schiphol more often.”

De Verspillingsfabriek Director Bob Hutten believes the collaboration is “an excellent example of how social, circular and commercial enterprises can all join together”.

“We need initiatives like this to prove that there are viable alternatives to current practice. It’s true collaboration. I really hope that our message will reach a lot of people, and of course that passengers will experience for themselves that our soups and bakery products are truly the most delicious.”

An empty manufacturing plant in Veghel, the Netherlands, was turned into De Verspillingsfabriek – The Surplus Food Factory – where food surplus knowledge and expertise has been gathered in one location.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Duty Calls feature series highlights environmental and socially responsible initiatives around the globe where people and the planet are the priority. If you have CSR projects, big or small, that you would like featured in Duty Calls, please contact Michael Barrett at Michael@MoodieDavittReport.com.

The Moodie Davitt eZine | Issue 259 | 15 April 2019