UoN Food Loss Preliminary Report

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    FUNDED BY A GRANT FROM

    Preliminary Report

    C. G. Winkworth-Smith, W. Morgan

    and T. J. Foster

    September 2014

    THE IMPACT OF REDUCING

    FOOD LOSS IN THEGLOBAL COLD CHAIN

    CRC3656-ReportCoverFINAL.indd 1 11/17/14 8:45 AM

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    4.8.1 Charity Food Banks............................................................................................ 18

    4.8.2 Composting........................................................................................................ 18

    4.8.3 Animal Feed....................................................................................................... 18

    4.8.4 Anaerobic digestion/renewable energy............................................................ 195. Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 20

    6. References ....................................................................................................................... 21

    Appendix 1. Stage 1 survey questions ............................................................................... 22

    Appendix 2. Questionnaire responders............................................................................. 23

    Appendix 3. Further comments on infrastructure............................................................. 24

    Appendix 4. Post-harvest cassava losses ........................................................................... 25

    Appendix 5. Post-harvest loss in Kenya ............................................................................. 26

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    1. Executive summary

    While almost a billion people are undernourished worldwide, a third of all food produced

    globally is lost or wasted. If food loss could be reduced, many more people could be fed. To

    identify the main causes of food loss around the world we are in the process of contactingexperts from different geographical regions and areas of expertise. We have focussed

    primarily on the supply chain of perishable foods from harvest to the point of supply to

    consumers. This report outlines our initial findings from the survey responses.

    Food waste generally relates to behavioural issues and is often defined as edible food that

    has been unutilised as a result of human action or inaction. Food loss on the other hand is

    food that has decreased in quality and is no longer fit for human consumption due to

    inadequate supply chain systems. In developing countries, the lack of access to cold chain

    systems and reliable energy sources required to power them, results in large post-harvestlosses (10-50% food loss). Other causes of food loss include poor harvesting practices, poor

    supply chain management and insufficient or inappropriate regulations. In developed

    countries where there are already advanced cold chain systems in place, food waste, which

    is generally related to behavioural issues where edible food has been unutilised and

    subsequently thrown away, is a much larger issue, for example, one quarter of the items in

    the average American refrigerator right now will go in the trash. However, there are also

    losses caused by poor temperature management, improper handling, bad retailer practices

    (such as rejection of goods due to cosmetic defects) and the lack of skilled employees.

    Perishable food losses in both developed and developing countries could be reduced by

    improving infrastructure, increased investment in the cold chain, improved regulations,

    better forecasting and technological innovations. Behavioural changes are also needed for

    both retailers and consumers which could be brought about by changes in governmental

    policy and improved education and training. The major impacts of reducing food loss would

    be to lower levels of global food insecurity (for example, by reducing food loss in the USA

    by 15% there would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans), a reduction

    in environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions or pressure on land use for

    farming and lower food prices. Although much of the food loss can be reduced it isimportant to fully utilise any unavoidable food loss. Any food that is still edible but no

    longer able to be sold to consumers should go to charity food banks but there needs to be

    better integration with the for profit sector to minimise the cost of food recovery. Other

    ways of utilising food loss include composting, the production of animal feed or power

    generation through anaerobic digestion. This will save money and reduce the amount of

    food that currently goes to landfill.

    As the survey progresses we hope to further investigate the causes of perishable food

    loss and identify solutions to reduce perishable food loss globally.

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    There have been some responders that have declined to complete the survey as they

    have felt they were unable to answer the questions.

    Table 1. The number of people contacted for the first phase of the survey as of 29.08.14

    Questionnairessent out Completed andreturned Declined Pending

    Europe 17 4 3 10

    Middle East 1 0 0 1

    Africa 3 1 0 2

    Asia 2 2 0 0

    N America 9 5 0 4

    Latin America 0 0 0 0

    Global 21 4 3 14

    Total 53 16 6 31

    Commercial 19 7 4 8

    Academia 16 3 1 12

    Government 3 0 0 3

    NGO 15 6 1 9Total 53 16 6 31

    4. Initial findings

    4.1 Food Loss vs Food Waste

    Food waste generally relates to behavioural issues and is often defined as edible food

    that has been unutilised as a result of human action or inaction (Buzby and Hyman,

    2012). Food loss on the other hand is food that has decreased in quality and is no longer

    fit for human consumption due to inadequate supply chain systems.

    However, these definitions often do not adequately describe the complexity of why, how

    and where food is lost in different countries:

    We should be careful about the word lost. In most developing countries, even if food is not

    ultimately consumed by humans in the post farm gate supply chain (SC), it is consumed by

    animals or processed.(Marc Sadler, World Bank).

    It may therefore be better to delineate between that which is lost as a consequence oftransport, SC actions and that which is lost due to expiry as a consequence of quality or

    food safety regulations from points of retail sale.(Marc Sadler, World Bank).

    A further distinction that can be made is between physical and economic losses (DiegoNaziri, University of Greenwich)

    Physical loss (PL) is something that disappears from the chain, thrown away

    (regardless of whether this in unavoidable or not see behavioural issues)

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    Economic loss (EL) is something that incurs some level of damage (e.g. partially

    spoiled or broken cassava root) that determines a price discount or processing into

    lower value product.

    4.2 How much food is lost or wasted?

    4.2.1 Developing countries

    There is very little data on food waste in the developing world. The figures for food loss are

    hard to quantify and are dependent on the types of foods and the countries where they are

    produced but estimates are in the range of 20-50% (Kader, 2012).

    In Sub Saharan Africa, 36% of food harvested is lost, equating to an average 167

    kg/cap per year where only 7 kg is at the consumer level. The losses mainly occur atharvest: 12.5%, post-harvest 12.7%, processing and packaging 4.5%, distribution

    4.6% (FAO, 2013b).

    Asia-Pacific region 15-50% of food crops are lost (FAO, 2013a).

    South Asia = 8-40% (Acedo and Easdown, 2014)

    o India = 30% (vegetables and fruits)

    o Bangladesh = 8-25%

    o Nepal = 8-33%

    o Pakistan = 15-40%

    o Sri Lanka = 16-40% (vegetables and fruits)

    Southeast Asia = 9-25% (Weinberger et al., 2008)

    o Cambodia = 16-25%

    o Laos = 9-17%

    o Vietnam = 18-19%

    Dr Diego Naziri (University of Greenwich) and his team have investigated cassava losses indifferent developing countries. They have:

    1. Broken down the value chains in sub-value chains (e.g. cassava starch, cassava chips,

    etc.),2. By means of value chain analyses we have assessed the magnitude of PL at 4 stages

    of the chain: on farm; processing; transport trading and handling; distribution retail

    and consumption

    3. Assessed the magnitude of EL by looking at the last stage of the chain when the root

    is still traded fresh and analysed the price setting mechanism in order to quantify the

    price discount

    4. Calculated the monetary impact of physical and economic post-harvest loss (PHL)

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    From their analysis they have found d