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Dutch trader joins byproduct start-up

"It's time for a separate category for bruised products"

Adding value to residual streams. Many fruit and vegetable traders have already racked their brains about this. Marcel Verdellen of Satori Holland has done something about this. With the start-up, Van Kneus, Marcel, Harald van Amerom, a childhood friend - who quit his job as a chartered accountant - and the company, Raaskal Food Creators, give countless fruit and vegetables that do not meet quality standards a second chance. Now, Francois Maes, the founder of Special Fruit, has joined this Dutch company as a minority shareholder.

Marcel Verdellen, Harald van Amerom, and Francois Maes

"Marcel's had the idea for a long time to give especially import products that you can no longer sell to supermarkets a second chance. That led to a graduation project where HAS students looked at setting up a GazpachGo concept," says Harald. The HAS plan resulted in establishing a new company, Van Kneus. It is based on the idea that even bruised fruit and vegetables are good enough and offer plenty of opportunities.

Van Kneus' first cold soups - Kouwe Soepen, as they call it - are now available in tomato, zuchinni, and sweet potato variants. The residual streams are called best streams, and the company has since continued to develop products like Keus' Dikke Sjips (thick French fries). These are not fried but dried using a new process called "deep dry", which gives the fries flavor without coating them. The next development is the Pietsa, a pizza base made partly of old bread and includes pizza sauce.

Sjoerd Henstra, who, until six years ago, managed a high-end beach restaurant is developing all these products. He wants to make restaurant-quality food more widely available, from supermarket shelves to healthcare institutions and corporate caterers. "What are you rambling about?" he was often asked when he shared his idea. Thus, Raaskal Food Creators was born in 2016. The company got off to a flying start and is still growing rapidly.

"This is the perfect way for Marcel to add value to his rejected ginger, limes, and sweet potatoes. He uses this mainly for his import products," says Harald, "but has since made contact with Dutch tomato, zucchini, and other vegetable growers who supply their 'second class products' for this concept. We're still looking for outlets to save even more fruits and vegetables from going to waste."

"Giving the project body is a major challenge. Everyone knows it's bizarre that 33% of food is wasted worldwide. But, supermarkets are still very anxious to get involved. Yet there are great opportunities for them and the To-Go market. This segment is growing strongly. Wouldn't it be wonderful to make this a product category in which other sustainable food suppliers also have a place. We like proving that there is a good marker for these less-than products in stores," Harald concludes.

For more information:
Harald van Amerom 
Van Kneus 
Tel: +31 (0) 623 304 219

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