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Food Supply Chain Actors’ View on Food Waste and Packaging: A Case Study on Iceberg Lettuce

Wang, Jiyao LU and Mansner, Alexandra (2017) MTTM03 20162
Packaging Logistics
Abstract
Food waste is currently a significant problem in today’s society where up to one third of all produced food is wasted before being consumed. The wastage occurs throughout the whole food supply chain but the largest contribution is generated in the households.Food waste is a problem which results in negative effects on the economy, the society as well as the environment. There are a myriad of factors affecting the wastage, one of which being packaging. Reduced waste can be achieved by 13 of packaging’s 19 different features.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons for food waste in the different stages of the food supply chain, how the supply chain actors view food waste and packaging as well as how packaging can... (More)
Food waste is currently a significant problem in today’s society where up to one third of all produced food is wasted before being consumed. The wastage occurs throughout the whole food supply chain but the largest contribution is generated in the households.Food waste is a problem which results in negative effects on the economy, the society as well as the environment. There are a myriad of factors affecting the wastage, one of which being packaging. Reduced waste can be achieved by 13 of packaging’s 19 different features.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons for food waste in the different stages of the food supply chain, how the supply chain actors view food waste and packaging as well as how packaging can potentially reduce food waste. Furthermore, iceberg lettuce is used as a case study to provide a deeper understanding of food waste and packaging related to a specific product. The results of this study involve both food waste in general as well as iceberg lettuce waste.

Based on 28 interviews with consumers, retailers, distributors and producers, the results show that all supply chain actors are aware of waste being a problem in the food industry. However, there are a number of obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome in order to reduce the wastage, such as lacking motivation, knowledge and awareness among consumers. Furthermore, actors’ failure in realizing packaging’s potential in reducing food waste, contradicting financial incentives as well as the challenge of maintaining a cold chain are also shown to be factors affecting food wastage in the supply chain. Moreover, five packaging features with the potential to reduce iceberg lettuce waste are identified. (Less)
Popular Abstract
How come we waste food?
Did you know that one third of all the produced food is wasted before being consumed while almost 800 million people are starving the world? Did you know that households contribute the most to the total amount of food waste in Sweden? Also, are you one of the environmentally friendly people who believes packaging is the enemy? Then our thesis might open your eyes to the benefits of packaging when it comes to reducing food waste. In this master thesis, we use iceberg lettuce as an example in order to understand the reasons for food waste in the different processes the food goes through from it is produced until it is consumed.

Most people think food waste is a problem in today’s society but how come they still... (More)
How come we waste food?
Did you know that one third of all the produced food is wasted before being consumed while almost 800 million people are starving the world? Did you know that households contribute the most to the total amount of food waste in Sweden? Also, are you one of the environmentally friendly people who believes packaging is the enemy? Then our thesis might open your eyes to the benefits of packaging when it comes to reducing food waste. In this master thesis, we use iceberg lettuce as an example in order to understand the reasons for food waste in the different processes the food goes through from it is produced until it is consumed.

Most people think food waste is a problem in today’s society but how come they still waste food on a daily basis? We have discovered a number of obstacles that hinder the reduction of food waste. For example, consumers seem to lack motivation, knowledge and awareness regarding food waste and packaging. Most consumers only think about food waste when coming face-to-face with it, such as when throwing away leftovers, and do not actively try to prevent the waste from occurring in the first place. Also, did you know that some of the food parts you consider waste can actually be eaten if you are a little creative? For example, potato peels could be roasted and eaten as chips. Like other businesses, the food industry wants to earn money and we have seen that this could affect how they deal with food waste. Sometimes farmers leave crops in the fields and let them go to waste because harvesting costs more than they would earn from selling the crops.

Packaging is often seen as an environmental burden that needs to be reduce but did you realize that packaging can actually help in reducing food waste? When it comes to iceberg lettuce, we have found that in their homes, people remove the lettuce from its original package. This could mean that the lettuce goes bad faster because the package is designed to make the lettuce last longer. Also, we have discovered that people do not want to invest money into packaging. What they do not realize is that, for example, by containing and protecting the food product, packaging can prevent contamination and damages to the food.

The findings in this study are based on interviews with farmers, distributors, store managers and consumers. Also, observations in supermarkets and literature studies are used.

Our thesis provides an example of how a product’s waste is affected by people’s opinions and behaviors as well as its packaging. To be able to reduce the food waste, it is important to first know the reasons for why the waste occurs which our thesis contributes to. Also, we show a way of analyzing the wastage of a specific product and how packaging affects its waste. This can be used as inspiration for other food products. (Less)
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author
Wang, Jiyao LU and Mansner, Alexandra
supervisor
organization
course
MTTM03 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
food waste, supply chain, packaging, iceberg lettuce, food waste reasons
language
English
id
8909343
date added to LUP
2017-05-30 14:34:39
date last changed
2017-05-30 14:34:39
@misc{8909343,
  abstract     = {Food waste is currently a significant problem in today’s society where up to one third of all produced food is wasted before being consumed. The wastage occurs throughout the whole food supply chain but the largest contribution is generated in the households.Food waste is a problem which results in negative effects on the economy, the society as well as the environment. There are a myriad of factors affecting the wastage, one of which being packaging. Reduced waste can be achieved by 13 of packaging’s 19 different features. 

The purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons for food waste in the different stages of the food supply chain, how the supply chain actors view food waste and packaging as well as how packaging can potentially reduce food waste. Furthermore, iceberg lettuce is used as a case study to provide a deeper understanding of food waste and packaging related to a specific product. The results of this study involve both food waste in general as well as iceberg lettuce waste. 

Based on 28 interviews with consumers, retailers, distributors and producers, the results show that all supply chain actors are aware of waste being a problem in the food industry. However, there are a number of obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome in order to reduce the wastage, such as lacking motivation, knowledge and awareness among consumers. Furthermore, actors’ failure in realizing packaging’s potential in reducing food waste, contradicting financial incentives as well as the challenge of maintaining a cold chain are also shown to be factors affecting food wastage in the supply chain. Moreover, five packaging features with the potential to reduce iceberg lettuce waste are identified.},
  author       = {Wang, Jiyao and Mansner, Alexandra},
  keyword      = {food waste,supply chain,packaging,iceberg lettuce,food waste reasons},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Food Supply Chain Actors’ View on Food Waste and Packaging: A Case Study on Iceberg Lettuce},
  year         = {2017},
}