Tuesday, May 05, 2009

UK Tonnages of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Waste to be Made Available

Those involved in anaerobic digestion will no doubt all welcome this information. For the first time the magnitude of the potential AD market in digestion of these wastes will be clear, however, it will be interesting to see how much wastage the food industry and supply cain will eradicate once awareness is raised! (BlogMaster)

New research led by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Envirowise will calculate the total amount of fresh fruit and vegetable waste by product in the UK retail supply chain for the first time - and identify how to reduce it.

A key outcome of the project is the development of detailed ‘resource maps’, which will identify the amounts of fresh produce and packaging waste generated for eleven products at key points in the supply chain1 - and calculate the equivalent carbon and economic impacts.

Best practice guidance will be produced covering storage, handling and packaging, and reports will be made available for companies to benchmark themselves against the aggregated data. Opportunities for achieving environmental benefits and cost savings will also be identified.

WRAP and Envirowise are urging the sector to take part in the research to help provide a detailed understanding of the waste produced across all components of the supply chain - from packhouses through distribution to back of store. Data collection will include a comprehensive industry literature review as well as company-specific waste prevention reviews carried out on-site.

Charlotte Henderson, Retail Supply Chain Programme Manager at WRAP commented: “Understanding where and how much fresh produce food and packaging waste is generated at all points in the chain on a product by product basis will help to identify and develop the best solutions to reduce it. Implementing these solutions will enable considerable benefits to companies operating across the supply chain – economic and environmental – to be delivered and we would actively encourage companies to be part of this research.”

The project is to be undertaken by research specialists Cranfield University, working with food and grocery supply chain experts IGD and the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), representing the fresh produce sector.

“This partnership brings together expertise and knowledge of the complexities in the retail and wholesale supply chain in the UK,” commented Dr Leon Terry of Cranfield University. “We are delighted to carry out this essential research.”

Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of FPC, said: “We are encouraging our members, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors to participate in the project, which will provide valuable information for the fresh produce sector on how to quantify and reduce both food and packaging waste.”

More at WRAP here.

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