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.
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