Hand in hand
Pressure to address sustainability and waste in the food sector grows by the day. The world is currently wasting 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced for human consumption every year.
There isn’t just one solution to reduce the impact of food waste, however steps can be taken to lessen the amount of food wasted.
A different mindset
One of the biggest factors in the battle against food waste is what we buy, store and eat. Consumer behaviour will need to change to adopt a mindset reflecting efficiency and move from a throw away mentality.
This has certainly driven Arla Foods to rethink its labelling. It is removing all use-by dates on its branded fresh milk in the UK and replacing them with best before dates.
The decision follows a poll of 2,000 adults by the dairy company, which found that only 15% of respondents were confident they understood everything on labels.
More than a third (34%) were unsure of the difference between the best before and use-by labels, while 11% thought they were the same thing.
According to Arla’s survey, this confusion means a third (34%) end up binning food if past its best before date, while another 38% do the same once the product has passed its use-by date.
Upcycling agricultural waste
Vast amounts of agricultural waste can be used for different purposes – organic fertiliser, biofuel and animal food, but also transforming waste into beverages such as beer or pharmaceutical nutrients.
There is a great opportunity for businesses and society as a whole to make a great contribution towards the reduction of food waste and loss through technology.
Adopting and implementing technology to determine the right quantity (and quality) of crop used for its intended purpose or for an alternative source rather than discarding it as waste.
Such developments in visual and sorting technology can only lead to more valid decisions about the quality of a product.
While substantial efforts are underway to look at the food and drink sector and waste, more work is yet to be done. Processes, technologies and multi-party collaboration will be key.
The reward is a brighter, healthier and more sustainable future for all.