Innovating Residual Flows

Residual Flows and By-products mission to Valencia, Spain
by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

7th - 9th November 2023

Early November, we concluded the mission for Dutch companies active in the residual flows in agriculture sector in Valencia, Spain. A sector study on the potential for development in the reuse of residual flows prompted the conception of this mission by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Spain and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The conclusion, and necessitation for an economic mission, was that the need for implementation of technologies to develop this was great, and could lead to a more profitable residual flows sector and more circular economy.

Half of the nation’s land is used for agriculture, contributing to the nation’s prominent position as an agri-food powerhouse and exporter. Vegetables, grains, and (citrus) fruits are among the most commonly cultivated products, with specialty crops such as olives playing a prominent role in the gourmet food products sector as well. Across the Mediterranean, producers are reckoning with the changing climate, which impacts the nation’s semi-arid environment and necessitates change in farming practices. This presents opportunities for companies and entities involved in creating value from waste and byproducts, who play an important role in closing the loop in the circular economy.

In 2021, fruits and vegetables were grown on 1,873,520 hectares. This 29 million tons produced annually has a value of €15.4 billion. Of this, almost two-thirds are sold abroad. This makes Spain the largest producer and exporter of fruits and vegetables in the EU and among the three largest exporters in the world. On the other hand, Dutch agri-food technology is currently cutting edge, with the country performing equally as impressively in proportion to its small size. The goal was to create a space for Dutch and Spanish stakeholders to create value while enacting change.

From November 7th to the 9th, psps accompanied a delegation of 9 business representatives in Valencia, where they took part in programmatic elements such as company visits as well as engaged in one-on-one discussions with local Spanish businesses. SMEs, corporations, and sector organizations attended. The aim for many of these groups was to orient themselves or position themselves in the market, as many were new to the sector in the Spanish contexts. Evidently, there was much success on this front. 

To quote the Ambassador to Spain, Roel Niewenkamp, “One producer’s residual product is of value to another’s product or process.” This was proven in each interaction between the delegation, who concluded the mission with the prospect for new horizons in residual flows and in agro-food as a whole.

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More information?

Peter Sanders

Managing Partner


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