Special Issue "The Challenge of Food Waste Reduction to Achieve More Sustainable Food Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Clara Cicatiello
Website
Guest Editor
Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-Food and Forest Systems (DIBAF), University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
Interests: food waste; retail; sustainable supply chains; supply chain management; agricultural economics
Dr. Mattias Eriksson
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: food waste; sustainable food system; life cycle assesment; environmental engineering; food waste quantification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The reduction of food waste is one of the main challenges to achieve more sustainable supply chains. Currently, about one-third of the food produced is wasted across the supply chain, calling for a great effort of researchers, managers of the food chain, policy makers, and consumers to reduce its extent. Among the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2014, a specific objective is devoted to food waste, seeking to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level and reduce food losses along the production and supply chains by 2030. However, we are still very far from this target, and more research is needed to identify solutions to reduce food waste at the different stages of the food supply chain. This Special Issue seeks to push the research on the strategies that may be implemented at any stage of the supply chain to reduce the amount of food waste generated. Articles shall focus on food waste prevention strategies and actions, but studies dealing with a sustainable management of food waste, in line with the food waste hierarchy, may also be considered. Assessments about the effectiveness of technological, organizational or managerial innovations seeking food waste reduction are also welcome. The purpose of the Special Issue is to collect evidence about what managers of food companies, policy makers, and consumers can do to contribute to facing the challenge of food waste reduction, thus supporting the development of more sustainable food systems.

References:

Beretta, C., & Hellweg, S. (2019). Potential environmental benefits from food waste prevention in the food service sector. Resources, Conservation and Recycling147, 169-178.

Cicatiello, C., & Franco, S. (2020). Disclosure and assessment of unrecorded food waste at retail stores. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services52, 101932.

Cicatiello, C., Secondi, L., & Principato, L. (2019). Investigating Consumers’ Perception of Discounted Suboptimal Products at Retail Stores. Resources8(3), 129.

Eriksson, M., Strid, I., & Hansson, P. A. (2015). Carbon footprint of food waste management options in the waste hierarchy–a Swedish case study. Journal of Cleaner Production93, 115-125.

Eriksson, M., Strid, I., & Hansson, P. A. (2016). Food waste reduction in supermarkets–Net costs and benefits of reduced storage temperature. Resources, Conservation and Recycling107, 73-81.

Kallbekken, S., & Sælen, H. (2013). ‘Nudging’hotel guests to reduce food waste as a win–win environmental measure. Economics Letters119(3), 325-327.

Malefors, C., Callewaert, P., Hansson, P. A., Hartikainen, H., Pietiläinen, O., Strid, I., ... & Eriksson, M. (2019). Towards a Baseline for Food-Waste Quantification in the Hospitality Sector—Quantities and Data Processing Criteria. Sustainability11(13), 3541.

Mourad, M. (2016). Recycling, recovering and preventing “food waste”: competing solutions for food systems sustainability in the United States and France. Journal of Cleaner Production126, 461-477.

Papargyropoulou, E., Lozano, R., Steinberger, J. K., Wright, N., & bin Ujang, Z. (2014). The food waste hierarchy as a framework for the management of food surplus and food waste. Journal of Cleaner Production76, 106-115.

Strotmann, C., Friedrich, S., Kreyenschmidt, J., Teitscheid, P., & Ritter, G. (2017). Comparing food provided and wasted before and after implementing measures against food waste in three healthcare food service facilities. Sustainability9(8), 1409.

Dr. Clara Cicatiello
Dr. Mattias Eriksson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food waste
  • Food loss
  • Food supply chain
  • Food system sustainability
  • Waste prevention
  • Sustainable waste management

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
“If only I Could Decide”: Opinions of Food Category Managers on in-Store Food Waste
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8592; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208592 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Retail food waste represents a minor fraction of the total amount of food waste produced along the food supply chain (tenfold lower than the quantity of food disposed of by consumers at home). However, the role of retailers is crucial in shaping both [...] Read more.
Retail food waste represents a minor fraction of the total amount of food waste produced along the food supply chain (tenfold lower than the quantity of food disposed of by consumers at home). However, the role of retailers is crucial in shaping both the behavior of upstream food chain actors and the preferences of consumers. This paper studies the causes of food waste in retail stores and discusses potential mitigating actions based on the results of nine focus groups held in 2017 with 67 foods category managers. Participants used sticky notes to outline both the causes of in-store food waste and potential actions to address it. Sticky notes reporting 228 causes and 124 actions were collected during the study. Data were analyzed across thematic macro-categories and linked to the responsibility of supply chain actors, including managers at all store management levels. Results revealed that food category managers consider in-store operations (which include their actions and those of their subordinates) to be most responsible for retail food waste. However, when it comes to proposing actions against food waste, they believe that store managers are mainly responsible for the implementation of waste reduction actions. This study suggests that food category managers are key actors to involve in the fight against retail food waste. Greater effort should also be put towards informing and encouraging store managers to take action against food waste in supermarkets. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Food Waste Prevention Measures—The Use of Fish Products in the Food Service Sector
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6613; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166613 - 15 Aug 2020
Abstract
This study presents two food waste prevention measures focusing on the interface between the food service sector and its food suppliers. Through a case study on procuring salmon by a hotel kitchen, the use of food products with different convenience grades is examined. [...] Read more.
This study presents two food waste prevention measures focusing on the interface between the food service sector and its food suppliers. Through a case study on procuring salmon by a hotel kitchen, the use of food products with different convenience grades is examined. The convenience grade of the fish bought (whole salmon, fillets or portions) determines where along the food chain filleting and/or portioning takes place and thus where food waste from cut-offs occurs. To reduce food waste, we propose purchasing filleted or portioned salmon rather than whole salmon. For both measures, effectiveness is calculated by looking at food waste reductions along the food chain, achieved by a better use of filleting and portioning cut-offs. Next, sustainability across the environmental, economic and social dimension is evaluated by calculating (a) avoided embodied environmental impacts and economic costs, (b) avoided food waste disposal environmental impacts and economic costs and (c) environmental, economic and social impacts and costs associated with implementing the measures. Purchasing fillets or portions instead of whole salmon leads to food waste reductions of −89% and −94%, respectively. The interventions further lead to net climate change impact savings along the salmon chain of −16% (fillets) and −18% (portions). Whereas the kitchen saves costs when switching to fillets (−13%), a switch to portions generates additional net costs (+5%). On a social level, no effects could be determined based on the information available. However, good filleting skills would no longer be needed in the kitchen and a time consuming preparation can be sourced out. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Effect of Dining and Motivational Factors on Out-Of-Home Consumer Food Waste
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166507 - 12 Aug 2020
Abstract
Approximately 12% of total food waste is generated at the hospitality and food service level. Previous research has focused on kitchen and storeroom operations; however, 34% of food waste in the sector is uneaten food on consumers’ plates, known as “plate waste”. The [...] Read more.
Approximately 12% of total food waste is generated at the hospitality and food service level. Previous research has focused on kitchen and storeroom operations; however, 34% of food waste in the sector is uneaten food on consumers’ plates, known as “plate waste”. The effect of situational dining factors and motivational factors on plate waste was analysed in a survey of 1001 New Zealand consumers. A statistically significantly greater proportion (p < 0.05) of participants reported plate waste if the meal was more expensive, longer in duration or at dinnertime. Irrespective of age or gender, saving money was the most important motivating factor, followed by saving hungry people, saving the planet and, lastly, preventing guilt. Successful food waste reduction campaigns will frame reduction as a cost-saving measure. As awareness of the environmental and social costs of food waste builds, multifactorial campaigns appealing to economic, environmental and social motivators will be most effective. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Perceived Utility of a Management Control System with a Broad Scope on the Use of Food Waste Information and on Financial and Non-Financial Performances in Restaurants
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6242; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156242 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of the perceived utility of a management control system with a broad scope on the use of food waste information and on financial and non-financial performances in restaurants. To collect data, a questionnaire [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of the perceived utility of a management control system with a broad scope on the use of food waste information and on financial and non-financial performances in restaurants. To collect data, a questionnaire was administered in Brazilian restaurants. Data from 206 restaurants were analysed with structural equation modelling, which was performed with SmartPLS software. The results reveal that a management control system of broad scope, which includes non-financial information, is oriented towards the future, and contains an external and long-term focus, assists in the use of information on food waste. In addition, the use of information about food waste by managers improves the financial and non-financial performance of restaurants. The study contributes to the literature by showing that broader information systems are effective in managing food waste, and they can also contribute to improving performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Relational and Logistical Dimensions of Agricultural Food Recovery: Evidence from California Growers and Recovery Organizations
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156161 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Efforts to recover on-farm food losses by emergency food organizations or businesses serving secondary markets have been promoted as a “win–win” solution to both food waste and hunger. We examined what it will take to realize this potential, drawing on interviews with 35 [...] Read more.
Efforts to recover on-farm food losses by emergency food organizations or businesses serving secondary markets have been promoted as a “win–win” solution to both food waste and hunger. We examined what it will take to realize this potential, drawing on interviews with 35 fresh produce growers and 15 representatives from food recovery organizations in California. By taking grower constraints seriously and identifying key dynamics in their relationships with food recovery partners, we provide a textured account of the relevant logistical and relational challenges and promising solutions. Our research makes three specific contributions: (1) providing a straightforward conceptual rubric to clarify when food recovery partnerships are likely to be more or less difficult to achieve; (2) highlighting key relational strategies or approaches that make success more likely, even if logistical barriers appear daunting; and (3) emphasizing the dynamic, developmental, and context-specific nature of recovery partnerships, such that “what works” will necessarily change over time and across different settings. Based on our analysis, successful partnerships require investments of time and attention that are in short supply, but necessary to establish and sustain recovery relationships. The path forward appears less rosy than presumed by those who focus on statistics suggesting a large recovery potential, but also more promising than presumed by those who see the structural challenges (both economic/logistical and social/relational) as inherently insurmountable. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Quantities and Quantification Methodologies of Food Waste in Swedish Hospitals
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3116; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083116 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
To move towards a sustainable food system, we cannot continue to waste substantial amounts of the food produced. This is especially true for later stages in the food supply chain, where most sub-processes consume resources in vain when food is wasted. Hospitals are [...] Read more.
To move towards a sustainable food system, we cannot continue to waste substantial amounts of the food produced. This is especially true for later stages in the food supply chain, where most sub-processes consume resources in vain when food is wasted. Hospitals are located at the end of the food supply chain and the sector has high levels of food waste. This study investigated food waste quantification practices in Swedish hospitals, examined whether a questionnaire is an appropriate methodology for such mapping, and compiled data for the sector in order to determine the amount of food waste and its composition. A questionnaire was sent to all 21 regional authorities, formerly known as county councils, responsible for hospitals in Sweden. The questionnaire responses were supplemented with food waste records from three regions that organize the catering in a total of 20 hospitals. The results showed that it is common practice in most hospitals to quantify food waste, with quantification focusing on lunch and dinner in relation to the number of guests served. It was also clear that waste quantification practices have been established for years, and in the majority of the hospitals studied. The data revealed that, in comparison with other sectors, food waste was still high, 111 g guest−1 meal−1, consisting of 42% plate waste, 36% serving waste, and 22% kitchen waste. However, there was great variation between hospitals, which, in combination with well-established, standardized waste quantification routines, meaning that this sector has strong potential to spread best practices and improve overall performance in reducing food waste generation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Food Waste Reduction: A Test of Three Consumer Awareness Interventions
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030907 - 26 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Halving food waste by 2050 as per the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 is key to securing a food system that is sustainable. One approach to reducing household food waste is through education campaigns. We recruited 501 households divided into three types of intervention [...] Read more.
Halving food waste by 2050 as per the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 is key to securing a food system that is sustainable. One approach to reducing household food waste is through education campaigns. We recruited 501 households divided into three types of intervention groups and compared with a control group to better understand the efficacy of diverse education campaign approaches. Food waste interventions included a passive approach (handouts), a community engagement approach, and a gamification approach. We conducted waste audits, household surveys (pre- and post-intervention), and a focus group at the end of the campaign. The passive and gamification groups had similarly high levels of participation, while participation in the community group was very low. The passive group and the gamification group had higher self-reported awareness of food wasting after the campaign and lower food wastage than the control group. Waste audits found marginally significant differences between the game group and the control (p = 0.07) and no difference between the other campaign groups and the control group in edible food wasted. Frequent gamers were found to generate less edible food waste than infrequent gamers. We conclude that the evidence about the potential for gamification as an effective education change tool is promising and we recommend further study. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Expiry Dates, Consumer Behavior, and Food Waste: How Would Italian Consumers React If There Were No Longer “Best Before” Labels?
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236821 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Much research has been carried out on food losses and waste in the various stages of the food supply chain, consolidating the “fight” against food waste as one of the most important challenges in industrialized countries. Numerous different studies have focused on food [...] Read more.
Much research has been carried out on food losses and waste in the various stages of the food supply chain, consolidating the “fight” against food waste as one of the most important challenges in industrialized countries. Numerous different studies have focused on food waste at the household level, identifying both the multiple causes linked to this behavior and the factors that can drive towards the reduction of food waste. In this paper, a different approach was used, trying to analyze different individuals’ reactions to a concrete action consisting of removing “best before” labels from some food products, following the recent proposal by European Union to simplify date marking. How could any action in this area be implemented in every single country? Bearing in mind the general results of the cross-sectional official survey Flash Eurobarometer n. 425, the purpose of this study was to go deeper into the study of how consumers would behave if the expiry date were no longer available on a pack of spaghetti. The heterogeneity observed in the possible alternative reactions across European Union 28 countries, as well as by considering the importance played by the local context in which individuals reside led us to focus on a single country, and specifically on the Italian context, as an example of country in which citizens have a higher average level of knowledge about expiration dates than the global EU28 citizens, but where, at the same time, there is a more conservative behavior regarding using a product with no expiry date. The multinomial regression model—estimated using the generalized maximum entropy estimator—enabled us to identify different profiles and groups of individuals with which—as a suggestion to policy makers—it would be first necessary to intervene in order to standardize the level of knowledge on this specific topic. In this direction, territorial macro-areas proved to be strongly associated with the various reactions; the probability of consuming or throwing away was found to significantly differ across all the studied regional macro-areas, with a higher likelihood of throwing away the product with no best-before date in southern regions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop