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Supermarket food waste

prevention and management with the focus on reduced waste for reduced carbon footprint

Eriksson, Mattias (2015). Supermarket food waste. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2015:119
ISBN 978-91-576-8436-3
eISBN 978-91-576-8437-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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Food waste occurs along the entire food supply chain and gives rise to great financial losses and waste of natural resources. The retail stage of the supply chain contributes significant masses of waste. Causes of this waste need to be identified before potential waste reduction measures can be designed, tested and evaluated. Therefore this thesis quantified retail food waste and evaluated selected prevention and valorisation measures, in order to determine how the carbon footprint of food can be reduced by decreasing food waste in supermarkets.

Food waste was quantified in six supermarkets in the Uppsala-Stockholm region of Sweden. Data were recorded over five years between 2010 and 2014 by the retail company in a daily waste recording procedure. In addition, suppliers contributed data on deliveries and rejections. The main suppliers contributed data on wholesale pack size and shelf-life, which allowed the relationship between these and their effect on waste to be analysed. Life cycle assessment was used to investigate the carbon footprint associated with production and distribution of food and managing the waste.

The wasted mass was dominated by fresh fruit and vegetables and rejection on delivery was the main reason for this food being wasted. Expressed in terms of carbon footprint rather than mass, the relative importance of meat waste increased and that of fruit and vegetables decreased.

A reduction in storage temperature to prolong shelf-life proved to have the potential to reduce waste in all supermarket departments studied. However, when the temperature reduction was achieved by extended use of the current electricity mix, a net lowering of carbon footprint was only found for the meat department. For food products with a high carbon footprint, e.g. beef, there was much greater potential to lower the carbon footprint by preventing waste through source reduction than by upgrading the waste management option. If food waste cannot be prevented, donation to charity and anaerobic digestion of the waste were found to have the greatest potential to reduce the carbon footprint, depending on the substituted bread value and biogas potential, respectively. This follows the EU waste hierarchy, although there are variations from the trend of more favourable options at higher levels of the hierarchy.

Authors/Creators:Eriksson, Mattias
Title:Supermarket food waste
Subtitle:prevention and management with the focus on reduced waste for reduced carbon footprint
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2015
Depositing date:29 October 2015
Number of Pages:97
IEriksson, M., Strid, I. & Hansson, P-A. (2012). Food losses in six Swedish retail stores - wastage of fruit and vegetables in relation to quantities delivered. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 68, 14-20.
IIEriksson, M., Strid, I. & Hansson, P.-A. (2014). Wastage of organic and conventional meat and dairy products - a case study from Swedish retail. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 83, 44-52.
IIIScholz, K., Eriksson, M. & Strid, I. (2015). Carbon footprint of supermarket food waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 94, 56-65.
IVEriksson, M., Strid, I. & Hansson, P.-A. (2015). Food waste reduction in supermarkets – net costs and benefits of reduced storage temperature. (Submitted manuscript).
VEriksson, M., Strid, I. & Hansson, P.-A. (2015). Carbon footprint of food waste management options in the waste hierarchy - a Swedish case study. Journal of Cleaner Production 93, 115-125.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8436-3
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8437-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E70 Trade, marketing and distribution
Q Food science > Q70 Processing of agricultural wastes
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 207 Environmental Engineering > Other Environmental Engineering
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 211 Other Engineering and Technologies > Food Engineering
Agrovoc terms:food wastes, supermarkets, waste reduction, environmental impact, life cycle analysis, carbon dioxide, climate, measurement, sweden
Keywords:Food waste, Supermarket, Prevention, Valorisation, Life cycle assessment
Permanent URL:
ID Code:12756
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
External funders:FORMAS and Handelns utvecklingsråd / Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council
Deposited By: Mattias Eriksson
Deposited On:29 Oct 2015 12:44
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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