Food waste has global implications. According to an article in the New York Times, across the globe we throw out about 1.3 billion tons of food a year – that’s a third of all the food that we grow! Supply chain professionals can incorporate creative strategies to do their part to help reduce the loss. We have highlighted 3 proven strategies companies are using to reduce food waste in 2019.
Work with foodservice buyers to move imperfect produce
This past summer, Baldor Specialty Foods launched a new program aimed at reducing food waste in the food service supply chain. Noting that about a third of a farmer’s crop never makes it off the farm, the goal of Baldor’s Imperfect Produce program is to create a market for fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted.
Baldor is currently working with two farms and offering imperfect zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash. It is also selling second cut kale, which is typically not harvested to their food service customers. Especially in foodservice, where the public doesn’t see the product prior to meal presentation, the argument for utilizing misshapen vegetables is compelling.
Use marketing to brand otherwise wasted food
The ugly produce movement should receive a fresh boost with Kroger’s launch of its Pickuliar Picks program in the first quarter of 2019. According to the retailer, 6 billion pounds of good fruit and vegetables go uneaten every year because of below-standard appearance or size. The tagline for the new line is “imperfect but perfectly delicious.” Priced as much as 50% cheaper than its standard items, the retailer has helped farmers to get more than 18 million kilos of product onto the shelf.
Choose IFCO RPCs
IFCO reusable plastic containers (RPCs) help pre-cool product faster than other packaging alternatives. RPCs keep perishables cool on the journey to the end consumer, providing longer shelf life that helps reduce food loss. Additionally, a recent series of studies confirm that RPCs can extend the shelf life of fresh produce in comparison to single use packaging by up to four days. For retailers and growers, this means reduced spoilage, less waste and better quality of products for their customers.
When it comes to reducing food waste, it is important to stress that looks don’t matter—freshness does. With IFCO RPCs, retailers and growers can add value, create loyalty, and foster repeat purchases with fresher products, be it perfect or imperfect produce!
Contact IFCO for more information on the benefits of RPCs for your business.