Food waste at production level
It is currently estimated that 500 million tons of food are wasted at the production level globally each year. This means that 32% of all food wasted along the supply chain is lost at this stage alone. This represents an economic opportunity of $230 billion (BCG, 2018). Since food waste occurs for many different reasons across the supply chain, we decided to list the main causes at production based on the literature, reports and other sources out there.
The main causes of food waste at this stage:
- Poor access to pesticides
- Premature or delayed harvesting due to weather conditions
- Poor harvesting or processing techniques
- Lack of market access and local transportation infrastructure
- Quality standards and product specifications
- Cosmetic damage (bruising, spoilage) due to pests or biological mutations
- Over-planting or inadequate agronomic practices
- Product changes and machinery recalibration/ reinitialization
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