With Food Waste Action Week in full swing, there is no better time for organisations around the world to consider the impact of food waste. Food requires land, water, energy and other raw materials to be produced, which can have a significant impact on the environment but sadly, so much of it ends up in landfill. 

These issues can have a negative environmental impact and can contribute to food insecurity across the globe. If you’re looking to improve your supply chain practices this Food Waste Action Week, this article will discuss how implementing supply chain transparency technology, such as the Authenticate platform, can help to reduce food waste through the tiers.  

What is food waste action week?  

Every year, tonnes of food is wasted globally, and millions of people suffer from food instability. Food Waste Action Week is an annual initiative led by NGO, WRAP, focused on food sustainability, health and equity. The initiative aims to highlight the importance of sustainable food practices and policies, and to tackle food waste by championing local and sustainable food systems, improving access to healthy food for all, and addressing the impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security. The Food Waste Action Week campaign aims to encourage governments and communities to unite to tackle the issue of food wastage and sustainability.  

What are the benefits of raising awareness about food waste?

Environmental impact 

As the global population increases, the negative effects of food wastage on the environment becomes a pressing issue. Food waste is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which essentially means, if food wastage was a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter.  

However, the environmental consequences of food waste extend beyond greenhouse gas emissions. The production of food requires land and fresh water, which can cause a significant impact on the environment. By raising awareness about food wastage, organisations can reduce their impact on the environment.  

Hunger and food insecurity 

Although we produce enough food to feed everyone, it is reported that 2 billion people across the globe lack access to food that is safe to consume on a regular basis.  

This is because, 40% of the food we produce is wasted, however, by establishing consistent reporting frames, increasing visibility at all stages of the supply chain and raising awareness with consumers about the issue, we can use food related resources more efficiently and tackle issues concerning food insecurity.  

Economic benefits  

From an economic standpoint, organisations working with food supply have an economic incentive to take action against food wastage. By ensuring effective measures are in place, companies can reduce the amount of food wasted in their supply chains, thus increasing their profits and saving money.  

Ethical consumerism

Ethical consumerism rose by 4% from 2019 to 2020, with the size of the market at £122bn.This statistic will only grow, as more and more consumers are choosing to make more socially conscious choices. As an organisation, it is important to align your ethical practices to meet the customer demands of those who are looking for responsible food sources.  

What is the UK’s policy on food waste?  

The UK has many policies and initiatives to help them reach the UN’s global target of reducing food waste by halving it per capita by 2030, as per their Sustainable Development Goals. These initiatives are the Waste Reduction Plan for England, the Courtauld Commitment, the Resources and Waste strategy and the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.  

As an organisation, it is essential to align your practices with government initiatives and policies.  

How can Authenticate help organisations take action on food waste? 

Authenticate offers a range of tools and services to improve supply chain visibility for organisations. Here are a few solutions we provide that can help to tackle food wastage 

Visualise food waste hotspots with supply chain mapping  

Supply chain mapping allows organisations to get sight of all tiers and suppliers contained in a supply chain by finished product and raw material. This level of visibility can help businesses to identify all potential areas of food wastage and encourage collaboration with all direct and indirect suppliers to drive progress all the way back to source.  

Companies can work with suppliers to improve operations, prevent spoilage and ensure ethical and sustainable practices. Companies can also identify areas of surplus food and donate excess food to tackle food insecurity.  

Monitor food waste risk using digital audits

Supplier audits, disruption audits, process audits and product audits can be conducted remotely through software systems to provide insight into supplier compliance and risk concerning food waste. 

These areas can be, poor supplier quality control, defected products, inefficiencies in food handling, improper food storage conditions and more. Companies can then make the necessary changes, in collaboration with non-compliant suppliers to reduce food waste.  

Track food waste supplier progress and performance with key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboards

Key performance indicator (KPI) management tools enables businesses to reach measurable targets by tracking progress against specific goals at defined intervals. Interrogate food waste data with actionable dashboard insight.

Our bespoke and standardised suite of dashboards turn static supply chain data, collated across multiple modules into actionable insight that enable users to easily assess food waste performance and progress for internal, external or disclosure reporting requirements.  

Authenticate offers supply chain management services and software solutions for organisations looking to increase transparency and reduce food waste, and works with pioneering food waste fighting brands including Oddbox.

Get in touch with the Authenticate team for more information or a demo. 

For more information on the Authenticate platform or to discuss your challenges and requirements, get in touch with the team.