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Retail food wastage

a case study approach to quantities and causes

Eriksson, Mattias (2012). Retail food wastage. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv. , Rapport / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU, 1654-9406 ; 045
ISBN 978-91-576-9107-1
[Licentiate thesis]

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Food wastage is a problem 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. In order to introduce efficient waste reduction measures, the wastage problem must first be properly described. Causes of wastage need to be identified before potential measures can be designed, tested and evaluated. This thesis quantifies retail food wastage and analyse its causes with the aim of providing information that can be used to suggest potential waste reduction measures.

Food wastage was quantified in six supermarkets in the Uppsala-Stockholm region of Sweden. Data were recorded during 2010 and 2011 by the retail company in a daily waste recording procedure. In addition, suppliers contributed data on deliveries and rejections. The main meat and deli supplier also contributed data on wholesale pack size and shelf-life, which allowed the relationship between these and their effect on waste to be analysed.

The waste of the fresh fruit and vegetables department was dominated by the pre-store waste caused by rejections, 3.0%, whereas the in-store waste was 1.3% consisting of 1.0% recorded waste and 0.3% unrecorded waste in relation to mass delivered. Fresh fruit and vegetables waste was mainly attributable to a few products, with the eight most wasted product types contributing 67% of waste within the department. The most wasted product was tomatoes, with 106 tons of waste during the two-year test period for the six stores, followed by bananas with 90 tons and lettuce with 82 tons.

Supermarket cheese, dairy, deli and meat departments all had less wasted mass and smaller percentage waste than the fruit and vegetables department. The top eight most wasted products within each of these departments contributed between 22% and 39% of the mass.

Organic products were found to cause higher percentage waste than conventional products. One systematic reason for this was the lower mass sold per article for organic products. For these products, increased shelf-life and decreased minimum order size, were found to be as effective a measure for waste reduction as increased turnover.

Authors/Creators:Eriksson, Mattias
Title:Retail food wastage
Subtitle:a case study approach to quantities and causes
Series Name/Journal:Rapport / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Year of publishing :2012
Number of Pages:57
I.Eriksson, 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.
II.Eriksson, M., Strid, I. & Hansson, P.-A. (2012). Wastage of organic and conventional meat and dairy products - a case study from Swedish retail. Submitted for publication.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-9107-1
Publication Type:Licentiate 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 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agrovoc terms:food wastes, organic foods, supermarkets, waste reduction, measurement, retail marketing, sweden
Keywords:Food waste, retail waste, supermarket, in-store waste, pre-store waste, organic food
Permanent URL:
ID Code:9264
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Mattias Eriksson
Deposited On:27 Nov 2012 10:03
Metadata Last Modified:08 Sep 2017 10:45

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