Impact case: Trash'ure Taarten - A sustainable world and equal opportunities

News overview

Trash’ure Taarten in Nijmegen sells delicious cakes made from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have been discarded. The people who bake the treats – some of which are available by post – come from migrant backgrounds. They gain work experience and build up social contacts in the bakery while learning Dutch. In 2022 Trash’ure Taarten won the Starter met Impact competition and netted a Nijmegen Innovation Award.

New opportunities

For those who’ve been granted a residence permit but don’t yet speak Dutch, it’s difficult to settle in and find a job in the Netherlands. Refugees in the Nijmegen region spend an average of four and a half years on benefits. If they do manage to find a job, it’s often temporary, voluntary, below their capability, and for too few hours. Thus, they remain dependent on benefits. Long-term underemployment makes it difficult to work at one’s proper level later. Trash’ure Taarten gives people an opportunity to do a meaningful job and build up their social contacts. The bakery prioritises self-sufficiency. Ingredients are patiently explained and recipes are gone through step by step until fi nally the cakes are decorated. To master baking, you have to practise everything.

More than just a job

The bakery is more than just a training centre; team members are personally involved in activities. They have lunch together every day and go on group outings, such as a trip to the bakery trade fair. And alongside on-the-job training, Trash’ure Taarten offers support by, for example, going with staff members to the doctor or helping them to look for housing or apply for their next job.

“Trash’ure Taarten is about more than just baking delicious cakes. For example, we have someone working with us now who’s picking up the skills very well, but she’s so affected by her traumas that she sometimes doesn’t show up. We have to take her absences into account. Basically, we provide two products: cakes and care.”
Jeanne Ittersum, co-founder, Trash’ure Taarten

Social impact

Trash’ure Taarten aims to mentor at least 20 people a year, half of whom will move on to further training or paid employment. It exceeded its target in 2022: 26 people followed programmes ranging from language placements to work apprenticeships. Four of them are now on courses, three found paid jobs through the bakery, and five are now employed by Trash’ure Taarten.

“I’m 40 years old, and thanks to Trash’ure Taarten I have a job and a contract for the first time in my life. I support employees as a work supervisor and impact coordinator. This position ties in nicely with my sociology studies back in Algeria. I feel useful and I’m able to develop myself working here. My colleagues are my friends. I feel at home.”
Inas Mustafa, work supervisor, Trash’ure Taarten

Sustainable impact

The VriendenLoterij Fonds (FriendsLottery Fund) supports Trash’ure Taarten through its Social Enterprise and Inclusion programme. But Jeanne and her colleagues’ goals go beyond social aims. They strive to minimise the company's environmental impact by using waste materials, green energy and sustainable packaging. They make their cakes from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have been discarded because they are overripe or oddly shaped. Jeanne estimates the bakery processed around 4,450kg of produce in 2022. It buys ingredients locally wherever possible, and its products have been 100 per cent vegan since summer 2022.

Make more impact

With the support of the VriendenLoterij Fonds, Trash’ure Taarten will be able to invest in new equipment to upscale its operations. For example, in 2022 it purchased a special van for delivering frozen cakes. This means it can work with intermediate suppliers and attract new customers. As a result, the bakery can further reduce food waste and off er apprenticeships to more people.

“Trash’ure Taarten embodies everything the VriendenLoterij Fonds stands for. And their communication, ideas and product development display tremendous creativity. Everything is done with due care and a huge amount of positive energy. They always go the extra mile in everything they do. That enthusiasm is the essence of the company.”
Safka Overweel, programme manager, VriendenLoterij Fonds

The future

In mid-2023 Trash’ure Taarten will move to a bigger location with more storage space and more scope for processing waste ingredients. The new site and expansion of the permanent team will give the bakery the resources to develop new recipes. It will also be able to obtain the certifi cation it needs to supply bigger customers. And growth will enable it to off er more apprenticeship places. At Trash’ure, they know how to share the cake fairly.

The VriendenLoterij Fonds forms part of the DOEN Foundation and is supported by the players of the VriendenLoterij.