Circularity driven by co-products

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25 July 2023

In the processing and production of consumer goods and food products such as bread, vegetables, fries, and beer, inevitable waste streams are generated. Previously, these valuable by-products were often wasted and discarded. Fortunately, these waste streams are increasingly being given new and valuable purposes. 

Looop specializes in valorizing co-products from the food and fermentation industries. These co-products are valued according to the Looop Ladder, with the primary goal of minimizing ecological impact. For example, they are utilized as animal feed and pet food ingredients, as sustainable energy sources, or as raw materials for innovative bio-based products. Finding new applications for co-products is Looop's fundamental strategy to reduce waste and pollution, thus contributing to a 100% circular world. 

Agrifood sector driving the circular economy.  

According to Dick Kroot, CEO of Looop, the agrifood sector demonstrates a leading character in sustainability and circularity, even being a frontrunner. Many co-products find the highest valorization in livestock farming and are circularly utilized as sustainable animal feed. These waste streams, no longer suitable for human consumption, are converted by animals into high-quality food products such as milk, meat, and eggs. The pig is even considered the king of the circular economy, as its diet consists largely of co-products from the food industry. This is one of the reasons why the carbon footprint of the Dutch pig is among the lowest in the world. Kroot emphasizes that the Dutch livestock sector excels in sustainability and plays a crucial role in the fight against food waste. Without this sector, these high-quality nutrients would be considered waste and lost.

Circular chain

Circularity extends throughout the entire chain. As an independent (knowledge) partner for co-product valorization, Looop is the link that closes the loop. By collaborating and sharing knowledge, co-products from the food and fermentation industries are increasingly utilized more efficiently, resulting in less loss of resources. Kroot says, "Together with producers, suppliers, and partners, we constantly seek ways to valorize (new) co-products higher." According to Kroot, much more is possible than initially thought. It starts with mapping out the waste stream and recognizing it as a valuable raw material. This way, Looop recovers and repurposes more than 2,000,000 tons of organic raw materials annually.