Systems maps and analytical framework

This report identifies drivers of food waste across the supply chain in five food categories: bread, dairy, potatoes/tomatoes, prepared meals (sandwiches), and processed meat/poultry. These drivers were linked with the main waste streams they generate. 

This report generated 17 systems maps for five contrasting product types that were investigated along their supply chains. 
 
The system maps identify:
  • Product specific drivers: drivers specific to the selected food products at a specific stage of the supply chain);
  • Generic drivers: drivers which concern two or more selected products (e.g. labelling errors, limited shelf life etc.); 
  • Systemic drivers: drivers that are inter-linked with more than one step of the supply chain (e.g. minimum orders, last minute cancellation, lack of data and communication, minimum life on receipt criteria etc.)
The cross cutting systemic drivers emphasized supply chain issues, e.g. regarding notably the interactions between the different businesses and unfair trading practices.
 
The systems map approach also shed light on two key factors that impact drivers according to the product specificity: 
  • Impacts of food waste drivers highly depend on the level of perishability and microbiological risk of food products. For example, less perishable food products such as frozen and canned products are more likely to be wasted because of product damage, labelling errors and/or equipment breakdown. More perishable and higher risk food products are more likely to be wasted when approaching the “best before” date or because of supply and demand imbalances and poor information sharing along the supply chain.
  • Lack of communication and cooperation is a central drivers of food waste. The impacts of these are higher in more complex products/supply chains where trouble with one ingredient affects the whole product (e.g. prepared meals). 
 
Finally, the systems mapping shed light on drivers which were “hiding” behind other drivers. For example, the question of date labelling is a well-known cause of waste for perishable products, but very often there are further drivers behind it (e.g. overstocking in the retail sector).
 
This is the first report delivered by the REFRESH policy project team. 
 

Citation: 

Gheoldus, M., Burgos, S., Flavien, C. (Deloitte Sustainability), Stenmarck, A., Hultén.J., Yohanan, L. (IVL), Parfitt, J. (Anthesis), Vittuari, M., Piras, S. (UNIBO), McFarland, K., Wunder, S. (Ecologic Institute). (2017). “Systems maps and analytical framework. Mapping food waste drivers across the food supply chain”, EU Horizon 2020 REFRESH. Deloitte, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Language: 

  • English

Publishing date: 

07/01/2017

Language: 

Citation: 

Gheoldus, M., Burgos, S., Flavien, C. (Deloitte Sustainability), Stenmarck, A., Hultén.J., Yohanan, L. (IVL), Parfitt, J. (Anthesis), Vittuari, M., Piras, S. (UNIBO), McFarland, K., Wunder, S. (Ecologic Institute). (2017). “Systems maps and analytical framework. Mapping food waste drivers across the food supply chain”, EU Horizon 2020 REFRESH. Deloitte, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.