𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲:
We may be consuming resources at a 50% faster rate than can be replaced. By 2030 our demand will require more than two planets worth of natural resources and by 2050, three planets’ worth. The linear economic model is testing the physical limits of the globe and threatening stability of our future. The concept of circular economy focuses on maximizing what is already in use covering sourcing, supply chain, consumption to unusable parts (waste and by-products) and by recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service life.
At its core, the concept of circular economy opposes the linear economy and as caught the attention of academics, government policy, businesses and consumers due to its disruption and economical potential. Moving towards circularity could eliminate a 100 million tons of waste globally in the next 5 years. In this approach bio waste from agriculture and food processing industry is particularly relevant. In Europe, agriculture and forestry cover 85% of EU territory and drive rural economies. At the same, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted every year, representing a substantial economic and environmental burden. In farming only 40% of irrigation water actually reaches the plants it was intended for. Food systems use 70% of our freshwater and 30% of our energy, and produce over 25% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
The Circular Economy model is believed as an answer to these challenges, to reduce waste and take advantage of by-products that have great potential if treated properly. In this vein, agri-food by-products and wastes usually considered a problem, are now considered promising sources of new compounds and products. Compost and biofertilizers, animal feed, or the extraction of bioactive compounds which can be employed as high-value ingredients for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries are now at the fore of the agriculture agenda.
This series of webinars, started with an Introduction to Circular Economy to provide you the opportunity to learn about the possibilities of Circular Economy in agri-food, building on an industrial perspective to solve current challenges and the solutions already being successfully applied.