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EU research turning food waste into feed
The EU is investing over €4 billion in research and innovation for a European bioeconomy that makes the most of our renewable biological resources. Agriculture is a key component, securing food production, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, and supporting development in rural areas.
The EU is the source of 18% of world food exports, worth €76 billion. But in the EU and elsewhere, agricultural waste is holding farmers back and costing taxpayers money – between €55 and €99 per tonne.
Turning agricultural waste into animal feed – the solution favoured by EU-funded research project NOSHAN – would open up new opportunities for farmers while cutting Europe’s dependence on feed imports. This would, in turn, create new green jobs in waste collection, treatment plants and feed manufacturing. The concept will be particularly welcome in rural areas, where growth is less intensive than in urban areas, and where the feed industry is a powerful economic engine.
“One third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally – a total 1.3 billion tonnes a year – and food processing produces a large amount of this waste,” explained NOSHAN scientific coordinator Montse Jorba of the LEITAT Technological Center in Spain. “Fruit and vegetables have the highest wastage rates of any food. This amounts to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital.”
The NOSHAN project will turn food waste – in particular fruit, vegetables and dairy – into animal feed, at low cost and, while keeping energy consumption low.
 
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