Food Waste is problem related to all the actors of the Food Value Chain: producers, retailers and consumers. In this context, retail sector plays an important role in tackling the food waste problem. Food waste at the retail level can be reduced through the adoption of food waste reducing innovations. The authors investigate the most relevant factors that promote the adoption of those innovations among retailers.
In developed countries an estimated 30 to 40% of food is wasted. About half of this waste stems from consumers, while the remaining part is lost through the other phases of the Food Value Chain (FVC): farm practices, transport and processing, and the retail sector. To meet target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals of “halving per capita food waste and reducing food losses by 2030”, a better understanding of the drivers of food waste is needed, both at the consumer and at the retail level. More importantly, the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce food waste at every level of the FVC needs to be assessed.
Research on food waste faces several issues. On one side, the large number of factors influences the behaviour of the actors in the food value chain, on the other side, food waste research often lacks reliable data on the amounts of food wasted along FVC. One of the possibilities to reduce food waste is the adoption of tailored innovations aiming at prevention and reduction of food waste. Currently there are many initiatives in this direction. However, there is a lack of information on effects of such interventions, since they are usually not large-scaled but have more of the local character. In this report, these issues are tackled using a simulation approach.
In order to overcome those problems related to data availability, an Agent Based Model will be used as a tool to assess the diffusion of food waste reduction innovations among retailers Agent Based Models (ABM) are effective tools for the analysis of market evolutions where behavioural factors (i.e. idiosyncratic biases of single actors, and interactions among actors) and temporal dynamics (interaction among variables or actors across time) plays a strong role. For these types of information, Agent-Based Models (ABMs) are much better suited.
Here, result of simulations based on a fully-developed Agent Based Model are outlined. Simulations are focused on the Italian and Dutch market for fresh fruit and vegetables, with the aim to describe the main drivers for innovation adoption at the retail level.
Aim of this study is the analysis of factors that influence adoption of innovation aiming at a reduction of food waste at the retail level, with a focus on the adoption on technological innovations.
Results show that the adoption by retailers of innovations aimed at reducing food waste is influenced by a number of factors, which are not only of strictly economic nature. In particular, the presence of strong networks among retailers and a high level of awareness among consumers have a prominent role in the retailers' decision to adopt food waste reduction innovations.
Masotti, M., Piras, S., Righi, S., Setti, M., Aramyan, L., Logatcheva, K., Vittuari, M.. 2019. Behavioural economics: assessing food waste innovations diffusion through ABM models - Insights from Italy and the Netherlands. REFRESH Deliverable D4.5