Preventing bread waste - A national success story from Turkey
by Professor M. Hikmet Boyacioglu, Chairman of the Department of Food Engineering at Okan University, Istanbul, Turkey
ne-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption. Food losses represent a waste of resources used in production such as land, water, energy and inputs, increasing the green gas emissions in vain. According to Euromonitor International, globally 141 million tons of baked goods are sold each year and bread represents by far the most significant proportion of total baked goods sales, at over 85 percent, with retail volume sales of 120 million tons in 2013 which results in inevitable waste. Since there is no clear definition of food waste, it is difficult to estimate global bread waste although there is the need to minimise bread waste at all points along the chain.
Food loss, food waste and food wastage
Food loss refers to a decrease in mass (dry matter) or nutritional value (quality) of food that was originally intended for human consumption. These losses are mainly caused by inefficiencies in the food supply chains, such as poor infrastructure and logistics, lack of technology, insufficient skills, knowledge and management capacity of supply chain actors, and lack of access to markets. In addition, natural disasters play a role. Food waste refers to food appropriate for human consumption being discarded, whether or not after it is kept beyond its expiry date or left to spoil. Often this is because food has spoiled but it can be for other reasons such as oversupply due to markets, or individual consumer shopping/eating habits. Food wastage refers to any food lost by deterioration or waste. Thus, the term â€œwastageâ€? encompasses both food loss and food waste.
Food waste causes and scale
Food losses mainly occur at the beginning of the supply chain; during production, storage, transport, wholesale and processing 44 | Milling and Grain
while food waste mainly occurs at the end of the food supply chain; in the store, at restaurants as well as at home. Possible causes of food waste are summarised in Table I. Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialised countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries. Industrialised and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food -respectively 670 and 630 million tons. Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in subSaharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year (Figure 2). The total amount of food waste in the European Union is about 90 million tons per year or 180 kg per capita per year excluding agricultural food waste and fish discards. The European Commission is referring to this as an unacceptable example of unsustainability estimating that by 2020 without any effective measures 126 million tons food will probably be wasted per year. Almost 50 percent of edible and healthy food gets wasted in EU households and supermarkets each year. Food waste is expected to rise to about 126 million tons by 2020 without additional prevention policy or activities. According to Rabobank, the European Food & Agribusiness (F&A) industry is currently losing 60 billion Euros of value each year through food that is wasted in the supply chain and never reaches the consumer. In spite of above information on food wastage, figures on the exact amount of food waste in the manufacturing sector remain heavily debated due to lack of a clear definition of food waste, lack of proper data collection and methodological issues, such as diverse and not consequent interpretation of by-products.
Global bread production and trends
According to Euromonitor International, globally 141 million tons of baked goods are sold each year and bread represents by far the most significant proportion of total baked goods sales, at over 85 percent, with retail volume sales of 120 million tons in 2013. Bread sales registered a decline over 2008-2013. The decline in bread volumes is primarily due to the fall in artisanal bread sales, which accounted for 78 percent of overall bread volume sales