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Importance of sustainable operations in food loss: evidence from the Belgian food processing industry

Importance of sustainable operations in food loss: evidence from the Belgian food processing industry

Dora, Manoj, Wesana, Joshua ORCID: 0000-0003-1970-6241, Gellynck, Xavier, Seth, Nitin, Dey, Bidit and De Steur, Hans (2019) Importance of sustainable operations in food loss: evidence from the Belgian food processing industry. Annals of Operations Research, 290. pp. 47-72. ISSN 0254-5330 (Print), 1572-9338 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-019-03134-0)

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Abstract

There are numerous studies on food loss on the demand side examining consumer behavior towards food choice and food waste generation at the household level. In this paper, we target food loss on the supply side, with a focus on the industrial food processing environment. More specifically, we map food loss in each processing stage, that is sustainable operations. Primary data were conducted through a survey (complemented with observations and documentary analysis) in 47 food processing companies in Belgium to identify hotspots and quantify food loss. The findings show that processing is by far the most important food loss hotspot. While transportation, changeover, interrupted production, human errors and product effects at this stage often lead to substantial or excessive losses, causes of food loss during packaging and before or after production have a smaller impact. At subsector level, however, there are substantial differences with respect to the most important causes. The originality of this research can be evaluated in three ways: one, identifying hotspots of food loss in the industrial processing environment; two, measuring the magnitude of losses across different product categories and causes and three, how sustainable operations plays a significant role in food loss prevention.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: food loss, food processing, hotspots, sustainable operations
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 21:57
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28334

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