How Cold Chain Management Can Help Minimize Global Food Waste (by Jeff Bradshaw, GCCA News, edited ny ARPI)
Each year, an estimated 931 million tons of food is lost or wasted globally. Of that staggering number, 61% comes from households, 26% from food service and 13% from retail in high-income countries.
When we waste food, we also squander resources like seeds and water for growing (it’s estimated that about half the water used to produce food in the U.S. alone goes to waste), fuel for transport, electricity for storage and labor. Food waste is also a significant factor in climate change: As food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The bad news is that globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. The good news? There’s plenty of room for improvement.
What can we do? As individuals, it’s possible to make an impact by buying only what we need and consuming most of what we purchase.
For businesses, new and emerging technology based on data science may offer one way to address these challenges. One solution designed to do so is cold chain management, which combines hardware and software, allowing suppliers to track the journey of their products from source to store. If properly implemented, it can help reduce waste and improve quality control, all before the products ever make it onto the shelves.