Sector: Catering Supplies from salvaged food
Plus: InStock transforms food surplus into products served in restaurants, catering companies and food trucks
Characteristics: Food, that for various reasons is unsellable and bound to be wasted, is used in restaurants, catering services, food trucks and for the creation of new products with the aim of involving chefs and expanding the food salvage movement
Since 2014, 470,000 kilos of food have been recovered and served. These are the figures boasted by InStock, the brainchild of Frekevan Nimwegen, Merel Laarman, Selma Seddik and Bart Roetert, all former employees of Albert Heijn, the largest Dutch supermarket chain.
Today, almost one third of the food produced is wasted through various processing steps. Every day, thanks to the support of a few partners, including above all Albert Heijn, InStock recovers 80% of the food that it then serves for lunch and dinner. Such food, despite complying with safety standards, for various reasons cannot be sold, such as meat that is too close to the sell by date, bread left over from the day before, fish surplus from producers, and leftover stock such as bottles of wine that are in too short supply for them to be put on supermarket shelves. Pasta, refreshments and chocolate with damaged packaging or with packaging that is suitable only for certain times of the year, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas, are also recovered.
Most of the time, salvaged products are donated to InStock. They are then able to slash food costs, while incurring in other ones such as those for transport and staff selecting the products to be used.
InStock is now a social enterprise with three permanent restaurants in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, producing beer and granola from recovered products with its own catering service and a food truck.
To broaden the movement of restaurants and catering companies using “rescued” food, in 2017 InStock opened Food Rescue Centre, a distribution facility where unsold products, mainly fruit and vegetables, are collected and selected: each restaurateur can then purchase these products from the online shop and receive them the following day free of charge.