Food production in a circular economy research group
The aim of the Food Production in a Circular Economy research group is to facilitate businesses in the agri-food sector in producing with minimum impact on the environment while making the most efficient use of natural resources. This is mainly done by closing loops and making production processes more sustainable. The research group aims to develop solutions that contribute to the circularity of food production and food processing.
The aim is not so much to develop innovations in-house, but rather to focus on tools to measure the sustainability process. Together with the businesses, the research Group is putting together an inventory of feasible options to increase the circularity of agriculture. The research group will lead to a reassessment and expansion of the Sustainable Production in the Agrifood Sector research group.
The research group focuses mainly on current sustainability issues that are tackled in experimental areas in the southern Netherlands, and collaborates with other knowledge institutions, businesses and governments. Experimental areas are physical locations where different partners meet, tackle issues and perform trials. Examples include Agro Proeftuin de Peel, Foodtech Brainport and the Delta Agrifood Business centre.
Lines of research
The main lines of research of the research group programme are: adding value to circularity, closing loops and making production processes more sustainable. In addition, the Research group is committed to combating food waste in the chain. Examples of current projects include:
- The Brabant Bemest Beter programme together with the Province of Noord-Brabant, NCM and ZLTO, aimed at manure processing and utilisation.
- An NWO project in collaboration with Wageningen University and businesses, among others, aimed at developing animal-free milk protein and what such a new chain yields in terms of sustainability.
- Collaboration with the Design Methods in Food lectureship of lecturer Antien Zuidberg and the Stichting Samen tegen Voedselverspilling [Together against Food Waste Foundation], aimed at measuring food waste and taking measures by businesses based on that data.
The research group is partly financed from the grant scheme for Circular Agriculture Professors of the National Taskforce for Applied Research SIA and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The scheme encourages stronger connections between universities of applied sciences and other knowledge institutions in the field of circular agriculture. The aim is to strengthen research and innovation in the field of circular agriculture and increase the availability of well-trained (technical) talent.