Circular Economy Opportunities in the Food Industry

The second sectoral meeting of the Turkey’s Materials Marketplace “Circular Economy Opportunities in the Food Industry” held on 23 May, 2019 and hosted by Türk Tuborg in İzmir.

The event attracted considerable attention and brought companies, experts, and other related professionals together in the industry to exchange and discuss material exchange opportunities in the industry.

The meeting started with the welcome speech made by the BCSD Turkey Executive Director, Konca Çalkıvik. As the keynote speaker, Olcay Silahlı, Founder of the Fazla Gıda, which is a food waste recovery based start-up funded by United Nations Development Program, took the stage and introduced their start-ups.

Münevver Bayhan, BCSD Turkey Manager, briefly explained the TMM Project. The participants were informed about the 3-year development of the project and the targets for increasing the sectoral based studies in the new period. The Circular Vouchers program detailed by Deniz Yurtsever, EBDR Near Zero Waste Program Manager. She explained how the Circular Vouchers are grants that help the companies purchasing a consultancy service. She also added that the 3rd round of the Circular Vouchers will be announced soon.

In the session of “Waste Utilization Methods in the Food Industry”, sectoral experts informed the participants about the food industry’s waste opportunities and how they create economic value with their waste. Prof. Dr. Yekta Göksungur, Ege University Food Department, emphasized the fact that approximately one third of the food produced worldwide is wasted and the financial loss resulting from this situation amounted to approximately $ 750 billion. He underlined that the sector has a great potential in terms of creating value from waste.

Following Mr. Göksungur, Prof. Dr. Taner Baysal from Ege University gave information about how to utilize fruit &vegetable wastes. He shared research on the valorization of food processing wastes which includes several advantages and opportunities.

Last presentation of this session was delivered by Alper Karakaya, Rhodolive Project Coordinator. He stated that Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW) is a significant by-product of the food industry of the olive oil producer countries, with a high environmental impact, when not appropriately treated. The project, which is funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 suggests an innovative circular bio economy approach by treating the Olive mill wastewater (OMW) with a non-conventional yeast, in order to produce valuable products such as bio-phenols and carotenoids to be used in different sectors.

In the workshop, which aimed to identify the collaboration and project opportunities for the circular economy in the food sector, the participants had the opportunity to identify and evaluate the main issues that they need investment, technical support and R & D. In addition, during the workshop, the company officials shared the main challenges they faced and their expectations from the TMM project. The workshop was successfully moderated by Prof. Yekta Göksungur.

In the last part of the event, Turk Tuborg presented their sustainability approaches and shared their experiences with the participants.  After the presentation, the participants had the opportunity to get to know each other closely, to exchange ideas and to discuss the subject during the cocktail held by Turk Tuborg.