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Priorities in managing food waste

Resources:
Waste, Carbon
Sector:
Wholesale and retail
Cost:
Low cost
Read more
Resource savings: Waste:
The best performers generate less than 10 kg of food waste per m2 of sales area and year
Premises and operation areas:
Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
What is in it for you:
Reduce food waste. Opportunity to improve stock and quality management process. Direct positive impact on costs and environment.
Descriptive information:

Retailers should set a list of priorities to optimise how they manage food waste. The highest priority should be to sell to the customer before the use-by date, but sometimes this is not possible or products are damaged during handling. In these cases, a variety of options are available, including reduced prices as the sell-by date approaches, offering deals to restaurants, selling the products to staff or offering them to charities for distribution, and so on.

Retailers should focus on logistics and systems that match orders and stock to consumer demand to ensure the best quality and avoid waste.

Food waste management priorities for retailers could include:

Priority 1: Source reduction

  • Sell to consumer

  • Sell at reduced cost

  • Serve at restaurants

  • Sell to staff

Priority 2: Donate food products safe for human consumption to charities

Priority 3: Donate food products no longer suited to human consumption to farmers or producers of animal feed

Priority 4: Industrial uses (energy, base materials, etc.)

Priority 5: Composting/Anaerobic fermentation

Priority 6: Disposal (incineration or as last resort landfill)

Sources

H Schönberger, JL Galvez Martos, D Styles. 2013. Best Environmental Management Practice in the Retail Trade Sector., https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-res...

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