Kerry launches Food Waste Estimator to tackle global food security

Kerry has launched a unique tool to raise awareness of food loss and waste, as it calls for collective action in tackling food security.

Kerry’s Food Waste Estimator, marking the UN International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction, allows consumers and manufacturers to quantify and understand the financial and environmental impact of reducing food waste either in the food chain or in the home.

With the UN estimating that a third of all food is wasted, the combined effort of consumers and manufacturers to reduce food waste can have a significant impact on creating a more sustainable food ecosystem and will be critical in solving the increasing global challenge of food security.

Using just a few simple inputs, Kerry’s innovative new estimator is designed to inform users about the impact that reducing food waste can have on our planet. It provides information on the number of additional people that could be fed, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide and water that would be saved by making simple changes to reduce food waste. Too Good to Go, the world’s largest food saving app, provides useful food waste reduction tips for consumers within the estimator.

The estimator also enables food manufacturers to determine the impact they can have in reducing global food waste by using shelf-life extension technology across their portfolios. Research has shown that approximately 50% of consumer waste could be prevented via shelf-life extension technologies – a saving which would meaningfully reduce world hunger.

Bert de Vegt, global VP for food protection & preservation at Kerry said action is needed by all and as an industry we must take immediate action in eradicating food waste within the food system through new technology and innovating together.

“While Kerry partners with manufacturers to extend the shelf-life of products, it is important to remember that individual actions at home can also have a big impact,” de Vegt said. “If the world reversed the current trend of food loss and waste, we could protect enough resources to feed three times the amount of undernourished people on the planet today. Our new tool provides simple but actionable insights for both consumers and the food industry and shows the real impact that shelf-life extension technology can have on food products.”

Kerry is following its words with breakthroughs in the highest food waste categories of bakery and meat, including patented plant-based curing agents and nitrite-free solutions for listeria inhibition, vinegar-based solutions for clean taste in low pH bread applications as well as solutions for process and heat treatment replacement in beverages.

With a broad portfolio of preservation technologies, Kerry said each year it extends the shelf-life of over 34.5 billion loaves of bread and 43.5 billion servings of meat globally.

Kerry’s technologies support the reduction of food waste through fermentation, vinegar-based ingredients, plant extracts and enzymes, alongside conventional organic acid-based preservatives like propionates and acetates.

Taking a holistic approach, the company also supports manufacturers in creating a more circular flow of resources, repurposing products that would otherwise have ended up as waste. For example, spent coffee grounds being used for authentic coffee flavours and proteins being converted into biofertilizers through fermentation.

The food waste estimator can be accessed here.

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