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Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1429-1445; doi:10.3390/su7021429

Cutting Food Waste through Cooperation along the Food Supply Chain

1
iSuN—Institute for Sustainable Nutrition and Food Production, Münster University of Applied Sciences, Corrensstraße 25, 48149 Münster, Germany
2
Department of Agricultural and Food Market Research, Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
3
Institute of Refrigeration and Biotechnologies, ITMO University, Lomonosov ulitsa, 9, St. Petersburg 191002, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kirrilly Thompson
Received: 7 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
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Abstract

Food produced but not used for human consumption is a waste of natural resources. In order to prevent and reduce food waste, the main causes have to be identified systematically along the food supply chain (FSC). The aim of this study is (1) to shed light on the causes and effects of food waste through the analysis of 44 qualitative expert interviews examining the processes and intermediaries along the German food chain and (2) to find methods to reduce it. Results indicate that food waste occurs at all stages in the food chain. Thus, there is no single culprit to be blamed. Besides, the identified reasons for food waste differ between product groups; not a single solution can cause notable change. Furthermore, the analysis demonstrates that the causes and effects of food waste are to be found at different stages of the value chain. Hence, it is of high importance to improve communication and to raise a new appreciation for food among all stakeholders of the food supply chain in order to develop a more sustainable food system. Information on the topic of food waste needs to be shared among all actors of the supply chain. They need to share responsibility and work together to reduce food waste. View Full-Text
Keywords: understanding food waste; avoiding food waste across the food chain; qualitative expert interviews understanding food waste; avoiding food waste across the food chain; qualitative expert interviews
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Göbel, C.; Langen, N.; Blumenthal, A.; Teitscheid, P.; Ritter, G. Cutting Food Waste through Cooperation along the Food Supply Chain. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1429-1445.

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