Learning from each otherFrank Wilthagen from the family-owned company Vleeswaren Wilthagen in Tholen attended both sessions: "I find the setup of the sessions to be very effective, especially in collaboration with the municipality. You sit together with entrepreneurs from the region and discover how you can benefit from each other; if not during the evening itself, then in the future."
Jozua Lagendijk from Seasun, who was also present on May 25th in Middelburg, was inspired by Frank's story: a fellow entrepreneur from Tholen mentioned that they can offer streams from snack bacon as a component for fuel in cars. There are so many possibilities, and everything I learn here, I take with me as valuable knowledge."
Seasun specializes in the cultivation of tomatoes and bell peppers. "We are active in horticulture, and normally nature doesn't waste anything. Such a working session contributes to looking at the valorization of residual streams from the food industry in a positive way," says Jozua. He continues, "It's a dynamic event that combines open discussions with relevant research and presentations, allowing for meaningful conversations with the attendees. It's anything but static."
"We are looking at what the store of 2030 will look like; you need to start now to transition to alternative work processes and products." - Adriaan van Moort, Chairman of the Dutch Fish Specialists Association.
It is clear that the Earth is not inexhaustible, and we need to start looking at how to do better. Adriaan van Moort, Chairman of the Dutch Fish Specialists Association, says, "We are looking at what the store of 2030 will look like; you need to start now to transition to alternative work processes and products. In these sessions, you are guided by the hand to examine similar issues with colleagues, making it easier to find a solution."
A thriving network
"A residual stream from one producer can be a raw material for another producer. It's great that Symbiosis4Growth brings parties together, ultimately reducing the need to tap into natural resources." - Caroline Verwijs, Director of Krijn Verwijs B.V.
Daphne d'Hont from Impuls Zeeland says, "Together with Food Delta Zeeland, we have brought together entrepreneurs from the food industry to identify the residual streams that remain after the production process and to explore opportunities for mutual reuse." Caroline Verwijs from Krijn Verwijs adds, "A residual stream from one producer can be a raw material for another producer. It's great that Symbiosis4Growth brings parties together, ultimately reducing the need to tap into natural resources."
In the Zeeland and North Brabant regions, meetings organized by Symbiosis4Growth have resulted in a valuable database. This database includes information from 230 companies, 1400 residual streams, and 475 potential matches. Currently, there are 25 to 30 actual partnerships formed where the "waste" from one company is transformed into a new product by another company.
From wood waste to corn cobs to 18,000 square meters of roof surface; what may be waste or surplus for one company can be highly useful for another! An excellent article about the May 9th working session was published in the Thoolse Courant de Eendrachtbode ©Pieter Heijboer.Article in Dutch: "Avond over verduurzaming in het gemeentehuis van Tholen"
The following parties are involved within the S4G platform: Impuls Zeeland, REWIN West-Brabant, and Midpoint Brabant form the executive team that organizes working sessions and facilitates cross-sectoral symbiosis.
The Province of Zeeland, the Province of North Brabant, the Brabant Development Agency, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and the Brabantse Delta Water Authority support the initiative.