Here are two shocking facts — (i) nearly a billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and (ii) around 30 percent of food grown is wasted or never eaten. This makes it a priority for corporates to come up with successful ways to prevent food waste. As a food business owner, you can do your share of reducing your food wastage using various measures presented in this article.
This 4-step guide can help you take action and realize the following opportunities:
- Adding to the bottom line: You can achieve this by reducing waste disposal fees, gaining tax deductions for donations, selling organic matter to others or generating savings through an improved inventory management.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: When food is sent to the landfills, it decomposes and produces methane gas which is more potent than carbon dioxide. Therefore, by minimizing food wastage, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improving stability of supply chain: Reducing food wastage eases the demand for more food. Moreover, it relieves some pressure from food production and resources required to grow, process and transport the food.
- Providing food to the needy: If the food isn’t sold, you can feed the people in need.
4 Steps to Reduce Food Waste
1. Conduct an Internal Assessment
It is critical to understand how much food is being wasted by your company and its related costs. Identify where this waste is going and what steps are being taken by the company to reduce and manage the food waste. Additionally, you must understand the losses that occur at the supply chain at the growing, post-harvest and distribution stages. Consider the consumers’ wasteful habits as well.
2. Develop Solid Business Cases to Minimize Wastage
Business cases for reducing food waste depends on the location of the company, waste management fees, regulatory and tax environment, and the types of products that are being bought and sold. For several companies, it generally is a combination of tangible as well as intangible benefits such as saving money, generating new sources of income, building consumer trust, greenhouse gas reduction goals and engaging with the local community.
3. Control What You Can
Once you identify what type of waste is being generated, you can take the necessary steps to reduce food waste and drive efficiency in your operations. For example, if you are unable to sell the food items, consider donating safe food to people in need or feed the animals. Ideally, you must try to implement waste avoidance measures — however, if these are exhausted, you can resort to waste management. It is recommended to put the food waste to industrial use, compost it and use it as renewable energy options. If nothing works, you can dispose it of through incinerators or landfills.
4. Partner with Various Bodies Sharing the Same Values
Apart from your own company, you must look at other entities of the value chain such as retailers, manufacturers, brands and even consumers to bring down the overall wastage of food. You can explore creative solutions by tying up with local municipalities, partnering up with entrepreneurs with innovative food reduction technology, logistics providers, waste management companies, and producer and consumer groups that focus on minimizing food waste.
Reducing the amount of food being wasted is an excellent opportunity to meet various corporate goals. Assess the activities leading to the wastage and implement a practical and action-oriented path to tackle this issue.
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment saving techniques by visiting his blog on Compactor Management Company.