Sustainable development is fundamentally about efficient management of resources. When it comes to food, the Netherlands wastes about a third of this important resource at different stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption.
Among the most important players in tackling food waste are supermarkets and businesses. A combination of superficial and draconian regulations governing this sector means that a lot of edible food is wasted when vegetables are not perfect looking or when food approaches expiration dates.
InStock is a clever initiative that addresses these food waste challenges in an innovative and entrepreneurial way. Four young people who were previously working for Albert Heijn (the country’s largest supermarket chain) and its mother company Ahold, came up with the idea of opening a restaurant serving the food that would otherwise be discarded. Their proposal won the “Best Idea of Young Ahold”, an internal company competition, and InStock was created as a pop-up restaurant. After a successful trial period, InStock now has a permanent home in Amsterdam Oost, along with a kiosk toko on Ferdinand Bolstraat and a food truck you can spot at festivals.
On a daily basis, fruits, vegetables and bread are picked up from Albert Heijn stores using an electric minivan, making transport of the food as sustainable. A few other suppliers provide meat, fish, chocolate and beer that would otherwise be discarded. Then the chefs are tasked with creating delicious meals based on this “daily harvest”, which they accomplish every time.
We think the only way to make this awesome initiative even more sustainable is for InStock to set up a composting program that will really close the loop on food waste! We are hopeful this will happen in the near future.
In-stock (website and Facebook) is located at Czar Peter Street 21 in Amsterdam Oost and is an excellent option for small and large group dinners alike. You can also visit Damn Food Waste to learn more about other innovative initiatives addressing food waste in the Netherlands.