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.
- 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.)
- 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).
Burgos, S., Gheoldus, M., Flavien, C., Stenmarck, A., Hultén.J., Yohanan, L., Parfitt, J., Vittuari, M., Piras, S., McFarland, K., Wunder, S., 2017: Systems maps and analytical framework. Mapping food waste drivers across the food supply chain. REFRESH Deliverable 3.1