What do we see?
In 2015, the Flemish cascade index for all sectors combined was 8.2.
It is interesting to note that if we look at the individual sectors, the cascade index for the fishing industry was 0. This is because in 2015 it was very common to throw bycatch back into the sea. However, since 2019 this has been banned in line with European legislation.
The hospitality and catering sectors also have a low cascade index because food waste is not sorted in these sectors. As a result, the majority of waste has to be incinerated. However, this will change in 2023 thanks to the new rules of the VLAREMA directive. Retail and households also have a lower cascade index due to their high waste incineration rate.
The sectors with the highest cascade index were the auction and food industries. Both achieved a score of 8.8.
What’s the aim?
In a circular economy, our primary aim is to prevent waste by maximising the use of products. Where waste is unavoidable, we then look at ways to get as much value out of that waste as possible. The cascade index offers a supporting framework to achieve this for the residual food waste streams.
However, we do need to take into account the fact that food safety means it is not always possible to get value out of residual waste streams. Therefore, this will be more difficult in some parts of the food chain than others.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator is based on the cascade index. To calculate this, the various waste treatment processes are added up to give a general score based on the weighted factor of the valorisation cascade. A detailed description of this methodology can be found in the monitor reports from Vlaams Ketenplatform Voedselverlies (Flemish Food Supply Chain Platform for Food Loss – 2017).