Avoid food loss during processing

  • Measure food losses and identify its causes. Target zero losses.
    • PepsiCo has reduced food losses at its UK sites by over 20% since 2009. This has been delivered through effective measurement systems, developing solutions to eliminate waste and strong engagement from employees. PepsiCo is part of a collaborative group, coordinated by research and education charity IGD, which has committed to reducing food and packaging waste by 200,000 tonnes between 2010 and 2014. In 2013, the IGD group is developing waste redistribution methods, tools, a database and decision guides to help companies reduce their waste along the supply chain.
  • Train personnel to prevent food losses.
    • Regular information sessions for personnel to flag and avoid food losses.
    • Nestlé runs a specific campaign to encourage its employees to reduce food waste in canteens by inviting them to take an appropriate portion of food on the self-service buffet and allowing them to buy left-overs and bring them home. This resulted in a 30% reduction in food waste over six months in the international headquarters.
    • The EU-funded Food Recovery Waste Reduction Project is developing a free online training plan for food supply representatives.
  • Optimise production.
    • Identify hotspots and find quick-wins that reduce food losses and make production more efficient.
    • Put in place systems that allow for the rapid retrieval, reworking of products or reintroduction of primary materials, such as accumulation tables.
    • Find solutions for production interruptions.
      • When there is a problem downstream on a production line, products upstream on the production line could be gathered and stored under optimal conditions so that the downstream part of the production line can be put on hold, while the first part of the production line can continue. Depending on the production process, possible solutions may need to be technological (e.g. climatised carrousel tower) or could be as simple as a table for gathering products or refrigerating products in case of interruption. These solutions are applicable for intermediate products as well.   
    • Ensure effective stock inventory control using, for example, the ‘first in, first out’ principle. Pay attention to spoilage dates and take advantage of other sales channels.
    • Use production-ready packaging for ingredients.
    • Coordinate with clients and suppliers on how food wastage can be prevented upstream and downstream.
      • Collaborate to determine the best sales prognosis for a product by using historical sales data or meteorological forecasts. 
      • Take food waste into account in retail and other commercial relations, so as to avoid overly stringent minimum durability date demands.
      • Optimise logistics by co-operating with other producers and clients.
      • Look for partners with waste streams you could use in your production process, or with whom you could combine waste streams in order to make recycling more financially viable.