Science - March 16, 2018

First waste shelf in the Netherlands to be launched in Wageningen

Tessa Louwerens

Next Tuesday, the first ‘Verspilling is Verrukkelijk’ (‘Waste is Scrumptious’) shelf will be inaugurated at Jumbo Verberne in the Tarthorst. In this living lab, WUR researcher will perform a six-month study into consumers’ acceptance of surplus products and ways to prevent food waste.

The shelf has already been prepared. © Toine Timmermans

The shelf is a collaboration between 18 entrepreneurs of the platform Verspilling is Verrukkelijk (website in Dutch),  CSR Netherlands, WUR and the municipality of Wageningen. Toine Timmermans, Programme manager sustainable food chains at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, brought the parties together at the Verspillingsfabriek (Waste Factory) in Veghel. Entrepreneur George Verberne of the Jumbo supermarket in Tarthorst was enthusiastic from the start.

The shelf will contain various products that were made from other products that would otherwise have been discarded, fermented or processed into animal fodder. Products like soup made from crooked vegetables, beer brewed using old bread or soap produced from orange peels. This way, the supermarket hopes to increase consumers’ awareness of food waste.

For the next six months, the shelf will act as a living lab, Timmerman explains. ‘We want to study what works best, which types of products and packaging are attractive, what type of consumers choose these products, what the ideal pricing is and what the best presentation of such a product is.’ At the start, about 40 different products will be available from various producers, such as Betuwse Krenkelaar, Kromkommer, Instock, Thijstea, BeeBlue, Yespers and Potverdorie. With time, the selection will change, Timmermans says.

On Tuesday 20 March at 10 o’clock, the shelf will be officially inaugurated by Louise Fresco, mayor Geert van Rumund and supermarket owner George Verberne, in the presence of several social entrepreneurs. This initiative is connected to the National programme ‘Samen tegen Voedselverspilling’ (Together against Food Waste) that will be launched on 20 March.

Re:actions 8

  • Leonie

    I have seen the shelf before reading this article, and just thought: Wow, who would pay 5€ for a fancy can of soup?!
    This is no solution to the problems in our food system, it it just another way how the corporate neo-liberalist system is trying to sell the green idea! This makes me so angry, and the worst thing is that people are celebrating those "solutions" which are developed just in the framework of the problem, called capitalism.

  • Toine Timmermans

    I see several responses related to the broader Jumbo strategy. Important to know: the initiative is taken by an individual Jumbo franchize entrepreneur. He takes responsibility, and opens his store for a broad range of social entrepreneurs that have set up a new collaboratie platform "Food Waste is Precious" to achieve more impact with there products with a positive story for a fair price. This is a starting point in a journey, where also the consumer insights can support further uptake of these products in other retail stores (as a part of the broader challenge to solve food waste).

  • Irene S

    I wonder what Jumbo does with the food that they sell when it expires. That is a real big source of food waste and most supermarkets just discard it.
    A "recycling"shelf could be just another marketing strategy to improve public image while selling overpriced "green" products.


    Excellent idea to “recycle” unused food stuff as globally +/- 15% of food harvested is lost between the farm and consumer. Remember when our moms saved the left overs and made some delicious dishes at the end of the week to enjoy!

  • Dave Boselie

    beautiful example of innovative power of Dutch food and agri sector. Chapeau!

  • Sunday Makama


  • Sheila Gale

    Interesting idea. I look forward to seeing which products are sucsessful.

  • V.

    Hoping that this would not be another greenwashing experiment to sell overly priced products.


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  • Jopie

    en er wordt niet gesproken over het feit dat als Jumbo de minimumprijs van groente/fruit niet wil betalen op de veiling deze groente/fruit dan wordt doorgedraaid

  • de Vries

    Maar vervolgens is een blik erwtensoep van "overblijfsel" 6 euro, daarmee twee keer zo duur als de gangbare variant.