Finding innovative ways to use wastes and surpluses to create new revenue streams has been an area of focus under Courtauld 2025; to identify the best ways to recover value from food waste; and to identify the waste streams and by-products with the greatest potential to create high value products.

Initially Courtauld 2025 signatories working in the dairy, fresh produce, bakery and beverage sectors helped identify their key wastes and by-products. Further work identified commercially viable options to get more value from these wastes. The studies identified the total tonnages of the key wastes and by-products.

Bringing valorisation to life

Consultation with industry identified at an early stage that many businesses working in the food supply chain are interested in getting more value from food waste, or ‘valorisation’. This interest was addressed by providing proven examples to bring the opportunity to life:

QMILK®, based in Germany, has an innovative process to produce a high-value, organic, textile fibre from waste milk. The QMILK® fibre is manufactured through a resource efficient, zero-waste process using no chemical additives. The resulting biopolymer fibre offers the potential for numerous high-value applications, and can be freely modified for a range of markets.

Waitrose, a Courtauld 2025 signatory, worked with one of its suppliers to produce two gluten-free fusilli pastas from green peas and red lentils. The packaging for these products is, in part, made from the peas and pulses that are not of the required quality needed to make pasta.

Revive specialises in the collection and recycling of Used Coffee Grounds (UCGs) to create a range of environmentally-beneficial products. UCGs contain many useful natural bio-oils that have applications across numerous industries. Revive is working in partnership with research institute, Fraunhofer, to commercially extract these oils for sale into high-value markets such as the cosmetics industry. Revive has also developed markets for the by-product, converting the residual grounds into a bio-fertiliser.