Thursday, 7 August 2014 - 10:54
Dutch diet gets more sustainable
Almost all Dutch people, at 99 percent, contribute something to making the food chain more sustainable. A report from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) published today, reveals the importance that Dutch consumers place on well-sourced, organic and sustainable food, De Volkskrant reports. Dutch consumers think that sustainability is important in these times, not only to save money by not being wasteful, but also because of environmental and animal-friendliness factors. According to the report from PBL, most Dutch consumers wish that companies would offer more sustainable products. They also believe that government institutions should lead by good example by using sustainable products in café's. The high costs for sustainable foods is often a problem for Dutch people. This is why one in five Dutch people produces some of the food they consume themselves. One percent of Dutch citizens are also active in collective food production such as urban agriculture. Not only does this save a bit of money, but it also provides better tasting food compared to supermarket products. Food waste is another point of worry for the Dutch consumer. Around 94 percent of the people surveyed by the PBL say that they make conscientious effort to prevent wastefulness. Recent research shows that people throw away an average of 50 kilograms of food per person per year. The Dutch, on average, believe that they throw away only 15 percent, one-third state that they never throw food away. Meat is still an important part of meals in The Netherlands. It "makes the meal complete". Only three percent say they never eat meat, mostly for reasons of health or cost-cutting, but sometimes also for taste, environment and animal wellness. Another three percent say they do so once a week. The PBL report states that 41 percent of people have meat on the table four times a week at most, but that the frequency or infrequency of meat consumption is not consciously decided. In The Netherlands, buying food with a stamp of quality is an important contribution to a sustainable food chain. A quality stamp will inform consumers that the product is responsibly sourced, local, pesticide-free, free-range or as animal friendly as it can get. Of those surveyed, 48 percent buys 'quality' sustainable products every now and then. For seasonal products, this is 54 percent and for local products 30 percent.