A manufacturing approach to reducing consumer food waste

Globally, one third of food produced is wasted. In the UK, 47% of the food waste is post-consumer revealing a need to encourage more efficient consumption. This research asserts that manufacturers and retailers can play a crucial role in minimising consumer food waste (CFW) through consumer engagement and provision of smart solutions that ensure more efficient use of food products. Supporting manufacturers and retailers to minimise CFW can be achieved via two stages: a) understanding and evaluating CFW, and b) identifying improvements to manufacturing and retail activities that would reduce CFW. On-site waste audits have identified that the percentage of edible CFW from domestic environments (77%) is greater than that disposed of in public areas (14%) supporting the hypothesis that improving the full food provisioning process (e.g. packaging, storage, guidance) would be beneficial. This paper proposes a number of mechanisms to support manufacturing and retail in reducing CFW.