When it comes to pioneering circular practices, FeedValid is keen to get involved. So when poultry and arable farmer Johan Leenders needed a partner to turn waste streams into feed for his Oranjehoenen (‘Orange Hens’), FeedValid was on it like the proverbial early bird. “If we can have some impact somewhere by preventing food waste, we’re happy to join forces with others,” confirms Alexander Romme of FeedValid. “The revalorisation of waste streams is a key area of focus for us.”

Closing the loop at the farm
As FeedValid’s Director of Material Management, Alexander has been associated with the ‘Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling’ (‘Together Against Food Waste’) foundation for some time. Working with other companies, the foundation is committed to drastically reducing food waste in the Netherlands. “We came into contact with Johan through our involvement in the foundation. Through his Orange Hens, he is closing the loop at the farm,” says Alexander. “We feed waste streams from our arable farming activities directly to our chickens and then use their manure to fertilise our fields,” Johan explains.

Healthy and vigorous five-star chickens
Johan: “I wanted chickens that were brown and white, with more pigment than usual. To give our chickens additional colour, we feed them mixes containing waste streams including beets and carrots. The result? Healthy and vigorous five-star chickens, and meat that tastes fantastic. And our chickens grow up in an animal-friendly environment in which sustainable and circular farming practices are employed too.”

Continuous development, innovation and improvement
“When the drying plant I had been working with stopped offering the service, I started looking for a partner who could process our carrots and turn them into chicken feed. Alexander was immediately keen to discuss solutions,” Johan continues. “As a supplier of animal feed ingredients, we underpin food quality. If we are to deliver top quality, we need to continuously develop, innovate and improve. So if there is some part we can play in circular farming, we are keen to play it. We heard Johan’s story and were impressed by the project straight away. It’s great to be able to make a contribution to it,” Alexander explains.

Short and local
“The chain involved in this project is short and local and that works very well. So, for example, discarded carrots from Johan and HelloFresh come to us. We work with TopFeed to dry the carrots, and ForFarmers De Hoop turns them into premium chicken feed that Johan then feeds to his Orange Hens. The meat produced then goes back to HelloFresh, closing the loop nicely.”

Renewable energy and residual heat
“And everything ties into this, right down to the last detail: the drying plant’s heaters are fuelled by clean waste wood – generally grade A wood that allows us to generate renewable energy and preserve residual heat. Isn’t that great? Each aspect, however small, helps to reduce the carbon footprint of companies. I am convinced of that,” Alexander concludes.

Wondering what a good residual waste stream management could do for your business? Please contact Marcel de Geus