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Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 693; doi:10.3390/su8070693

Towards a More Sustainable Food Supply Chain: Opening up Invisible Waste in Food Service

Department of Business Administration, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona 08034, Spain
Department of Marketing and Market Research, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia 46022, Spain
Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona 08028, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [248 KB, uploaded 20 July 2016]


Future challenges to the global food supply chain are complex. In order to embrace sustainability, companies should change their management practices towards more efficient resource use. Food waste being a misuse of resources, we identify its causes and possible ways of minimising it. To achieve this goal, we conducted explorative research with qualitative and quantitative data through in-depth semi-structured interviews and an open questionnaire with top Spanish food service companies. Results show that most businesses mainly tend to minimise food waste according to economic criteria, without taking into account the social, ethical or environmental factors. As a consequence, just “visible” food waste that has an economic impact on the results is minimised. Nevertheless, visibility of real waste is often low. At the same time, awareness of (and therefore initiatives to reduce) food waste that does not directly affect a firm’s profit can be increased through multi-stakeholder collaboration. Opportunities for reducing food waste therefore arise from increasing the visibility of food that is discarded as well as addressing plate waste. We identify best practices that could lead to a reduction of the amount of food waste generated in the out of home channel in Spain. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; food waste; sustainable development; food supply chain; food service; food surplus sustainability; food waste; sustainable development; food supply chain; food service; food surplus
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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Derqui, B.; Fayos, T.; Fernandez, V. Towards a More Sustainable Food Supply Chain: Opening up Invisible Waste in Food Service. Sustainability 2016, 8, 693.

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