Dutch consumers want to waste less food

Thirty percent of Dutch consumers throw away food or drinks at least two times a week. Large numbers of Dutch consumers want to reduce food waste. This is revealed in a survey commissioned by Rabobank and conducted by market research agency GfK. Consumers also state in the survey the practical solutions they believe would be most helpful in reducing food waste.

The survey was commissioned by Rabobank within the context of Rabo FoodWeek. Rabobank will be focusing extra attention on food, drinks and the food supply during this special week that will end on World Food Day on 16 October. The bank is a leading financier of the food and agri sector.

Offering smaller portions

GfK conducted the survey among 1,126 Dutch consumers. Many respondents say throwing away food makes them feel guilty. Seven out of ten respondents want to improve their own behaviour relating to food waste. They put forward the following solutions for reducing food waste:

  • Higher grocery prices. Consumers say they would shop more consciously and freeze food more often if the prices of food and drinks were to go up.
  • Offering smaller portions and better packaging by producers. Forty percent of the respondents say this would have the greatest effect on reducing food waste.
  • Better information on the best-before date. One-quarter of Dutch consumers say they throw food away if it is past its best-before date.

Making the difference together

‘Consumers play the leading role in preventing food waste. They sense this responsibility and want to accept it. And that’s excellent, but it’s not enough', says Ruud Huirne, Director of Food & Agri Netherlands at Rabobank. ‘Food is unnecessarily wasted across every link of the food chain – from farmer and grower to our plate. Businesses in the food and agri sector have a responsibility to fight food waste. By each of us doing our own part according to our own role, we can together make the difference in resolving the global food issue.'

Banking for Food

Through 'Banking for Food', the bank is committed to supporting its customers to address the global food challenge facing the world: to sustainably feed more than nine billion people in 2050. In order to achieve this objective, it is vital to deploy the available land and resources optimally to feed the world population that is growing and becoming more prosperous. This means whoever throws away food, is also wasting money and CO2 emissions.

Little-known facts about the Dutch and food waste

  • Under-thirties and families throw away the most food.
  • The respondents say they often throw away food unconsciously and note that they find it difficult to change their behaviour. They also report that their partners are picky when it comes to eating leftover food.
  • Four out of five Dutch consumers have learned as children that they should not throw away food and drinks.
  • Two out of three households try to store food in the correct place, such as in the refrigerator, freezer or a dark cupboard.
  • 60 percent say they check the pantry before going to the supermarket.

Source: Survey commissioned by Rabobank and conducted in the Netherlands by market research agency GfK among 1,126 respondents in September 2015.

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