2024 ReFED Food Waste Solutions Summit

June 11-13, 2024 | Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Convention Center

Sandra Vijn

Managing Director



Sandra grew up on a small tulip farm in the Netherlands. She is on a lifelong journey to advance food systems that work for people, animals, and the planet. She recently joined Kipster to lead the expansion of its first egg farms in the United States. Sandra worked at the Global Reporting Initiative, Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Responsible Business, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, and WWF. She still grows flowers everywhere she lives.


What is the one thing you want Summit attendees to focus on in 2023?

Livestock play a key role in utilizing food waste, surplus food, and by-products. First, we need to minimize the amount of food we are waisting. But foods that people do not want or cannot eat, can be processed by hens, pigs, and dairy animals. That way, we can use fertile agricultural soils to grow crops for humans, not animals, and feed more people on this planet. Marginal grasslands can be grazed by dairy animals and bison, depending on cultural ties to these lands. Organic waste is for livestock. It's how agriculture has been done for thousands of years.This approach can be vitalized in a contemporary way. Pigs and chickens are omnivores and efficient ‘waste’ processors. Animals can eat by-products from food manufacturing, organic waste, post-harvest waste. By-products from slaughter facilities are nutritious protein sources for chickens. And the roosters from egg farms and old egg layer hens are itself an untapped valuable protein source for people. Now they go to landfill or petfood. But this approach also means less animal proteins available : less food waste, less livestock. The livestock that is in the food system, needs to be given the best life possible for farm animals.

What motivates you personally to work on food waste-related issues?

Food systems are not just and not in line with planetary boundaries. They are not designed for a sustainable future, for thriving communities and a living planet. I believe that upcycling of wasted nutrients through livestock into valuable protein for people, while using fertile soils in a regenerative, diverse way to feed people, is one of the key steps towards rebalancing food, feed, and planet.

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