Food trends



Sustainable development is becoming more and more important in any kind of business and, in this perspective, the impact of the food sector is strategic. Each year, in the world, 17% of all food produced is wasted. Food is thrown away because it’s either partially consumed or stored inappropriately; sometimes, simply because it’s not nice-looking enough to be shown on the shelves of a grocery store.

In addition, there is an array of inedible parts – like the seeds and peel of some fruit and vegetables – that typically end up straight in landfills, where they eventually contribute, together with the rest of the food wasted, to increase greenhouse gas emissions.  

In a completely different sector, the situation is not dissimilar. The fashion industry produces each year an average of 92 million tons of waste. Besides micro plastic, toxic dyes, over-use of water and fast fashion – that fosters the polluting trend of buy-to-throw away – the industry is responsible for about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of water pollution.

Since the European Green New Deal and the Circularity Economy Action Plan have highlighted the centrality of the textile sector in the transition policies towards sustainability, the fashion industry has teamed up with the food business to find new ways to implement innovative circular strategies. 

If Japan has been credited for the invention of vegetable cashmere, a 100% plant-based fabric primarily composed of soy protein spun from pulp, a Taiwanese company has found a way to roast coffee waste and turn it into fibers, yarns, textiles and apparel. Innovative fabrics have been patented in Europe as well: in Spain, they are made from the processing of industrial pineapple waste; in Switzerland, from the processing of banana peels and in Germany from the casein obtained by the processing of skimmed milk waste.

In Italy, given the great variety of its agricultural production, we have vegan leather, that is produced with mushrooms or with industrial waste from wine production; fabrics made of peels and cores of organic apples and from citrus juice by-products. The waste of Sicilian oranges – the ones used for the production of popular soft drinks – is also used to produce a collection of eco-design objects, signed by a renowned design company in partnership with an important company specialized in circular economy.
As it often happens during a transition phase, the costs of transforming food waste are currently so high that the use of these sustainable materials is still complex in large-scale productions. It is therefore be necessary to focus on research and technological development, as well as on the involvement of consumers, to implement these and more innovations.

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About Alifood

About Alifood

We strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. We do not see ourselves as mere food traders.

The sale of the products we select is just the last step of a complex, structured process that is based on strong business relationships and, in many cases, real partnerships. Our job is made of several functions: sourcing the right product, selecting a reliable producer, managing the entire logistics chain, providing all the necessary documentation and certifications and following up all the after-sale requirements besides consulting and tutoring on how to best use each single product. We do all this because we strongly believe that everything we plan and do should create value, for both our clients and suppliers. Our familiarity with the Italian food an agricultural industry, developed over the last twenty years, gives us the ability to efficiently deal with all the diverse needs pertaining to different markets.

Thanks to our experienced, professional and multilingual global working team, matching international demand and local supply is what we do best.

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