Waste and the prevention of it, is all the buzz right now. This is a good thing but it should not be seen by anyone as just the in thing. Waste is bad and we should all be working consistently and constantly to first reduce, and then to prevent it.
Food waste is especially terrible as at least one third of all the food grown and produced is thrown away. This is a huge waste of water, resources, time and money and we have to stop it.
The food can be thrown away at any stage in the process;
- from the farm where it is thrown because it does not look like the perfect fruit,
- the factory where it has not been used or is scrapped from the process,
- the supermarket where it has not been sold by the required date (poor stock control and rotation),
- the restaurant / café where food goes past it’s use by date (poor stock control and rotation)
- transport where it may have been damaged,
- the worst wasters of all, consumers where we buy what we don’t need and it ends up being thrown out, or we don’t keep an eye on what is in our fridge and the food gos past it’s use by date.
Manufacturers and other food businesses now have several options to use to reduce food waste and help their communities at the same time. Those with low incomes can access cheap food through Food Pantries which get their food for no cost from FoodBank. This food comes from the factories and supermarkets.
Another business, called Yume, has started an online marketplace, which allows suppliers to sell surplus food to other food businesses and events at a discount.
Yume’s founder and CEO Katy Barfield said; “Via the Yume platform the supplier was able to find a buyer. We’re urgently calling for all food manufacturers and primary producers to join Yume, so that we can help prevent this food, which takes time, money and valuable resources to grow, pick, pack and distribute, from going to waste.”
Even though giving it to charity or selling at a discount are great ways to move food on so it is not wasted, the fundamental problem still remains – food businesses still have food which is potentially wasted. They need to better manage their processes to prevent this from happening