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Food Waste as a Widespread Problem of Our Time

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Food wastage is becoming a problem due to people adversely disposing food and the demographic who are partaking in the process of food waste are people such as categories of including supermarkets cafes restaurants, and other food associated industries. The reason for the increasing issue in food wastage is a result of people disposing of food which they find boring/not satisfying, perhaps not consuming food before the expiry date and mishandling of ingredients when preparing dishes (Foodbank, 2020).

The consequences of wasting food resources as such, can lead to dire outcomes where it increases greenhouse gas emissions and leading to more rubbish and pollution. Another significant problem which can arise is food insecurity for those who are less fortunate. “Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet” (Robert, 2020).

The problem of food wastage has become more evident in the face of many struggling families and individuals. “When asked to estimate an average household’s food waste over a year, 32% estimated more than $1000, while 21% were unsure. The average estimate was $1645.64” (NSW EPA, 2018).

Food security is very important to the physiological wellbeing of people as such make cause feelings of anxiety of fear and sadness. This may also decrease in personal happiness and morale. Further consequences might be drop in productivity for individuals at work or in school.

Global Food Waste

Food wastage has affected on a global level not only Australia and therefore, it has sparked an ongoing debate on how financially and environmentally devastating it is on the Australian economy: “There is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone. One third of all food produced is lost or wasted – around 1.3 billion tons of food –costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year. Throwing away one burger wastes the same amount of water as a 90-minute shower” (Ozharvest, 2020). Once again this is not a food insecurity issue but rather a food wastage issue due to people simply misappropriating food resources such as over buying and not using and not being able to consume products within a timely manner. Certain production companies have a capacity to meet the supply and demand equilibrium. Food is distributed both domestic and on a global level. The supply chain also plays a very important part not only in the distribution side of things but also in the waste management sector. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals set food waste reduction target the global food waste to the half per capita by 2030. This strategy has been negotiated and spanned over two years coming to an outcome that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote success and people’s well-being and decreasing the food wastage overall by 2030 (UN Environment, 2020).

Sustainable Practices

In progressing in the direction of a progressively viable world with less sustenance waste, many other countries and organizations shows initiative to practice in achieving a halve overall global waste. However, Denmark has a reputation in being European leading champion when it comes to food waste reduction, Denmark has diminished its food waste by an expected 25% in the previous 5 years. This extraordinary accomplishment is generally down to an adjustment in individuals’ mindset and conduct. Another incentive that was put into place was that there were shops who resale food before it’s expiry date. The other options seen was to sell imperfect products and coming closer to the expiry date for a lower cost. The result of these options is to see consumers more educated and see a more positive changed behavior from the devastating effects from food wastage. Another audit for the best exercise with respect to wastage of food was started by the English government. In the time of 2000, they built up a program that concentrated on teaching purchasers in changing their propensities in lessening their food waste in their day-by-day life. Moreover, supported the program various partners to take activities through understandings. The program likewise has incredible spotlight on the retailer business a particularly Tesco. Tesco has created many waste administrations rehearses dependent on the accompanying stages. Distinguish the sources for food wastage, measure the waste, set objectives and follow up on this by creating imaginative arrangements. To apply to these objectives Tesco has define certain objectives, for example, split their food waste in activities by 2030. To have such a huge food retailer being the leader of bringing down their food waste consumption, is significant in battling the issue. “Tesco has slashed food waste by 17% one year’ news has been released that it wasted 17% less food in a 12-month period from 12-month period. When managing food wastage at retailers, there are different practices that are possible. The first step should be decreasing the product stock at each of day especially fresh produced goods as they’re more susceptible to expire earlier and educating people with the practice to be aware of food waste” (Edie, 2020).

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Solutions in Logistics and Supply Chain

Logistics and supply chain management is very crucial to ensuring the success of combating food wastage. Primary food waste occurs heavily during the downstream process. This process is particularly important as it deals with the initial stage of ensuring information between clients and goods are exchanged accordingly. As mentioned earlier, the expiry dates and associated failure with predicting customer trends and selling them within a set timeframe, which can often be misjudged, does lead to the products ending up in wastage. “This corresponds to about one third of global food production. 198 million hectares of land are cultivated with food that we ultimately do not consume – roughly the size of Mexico! In Germany, too, many foods are thrown away: Over 18 million tons and thus more than a third of current food consumption ends up in the garbage bin every year. At 44 percent, fruit and vegetables account for almost half of our food waste” (IFT, 2020).

By examining various trends, it can be understood that such an issue is not always something that manufacturers and retailers selling the products can evade from. An alternative means of reducing the effects of food waste is to put in place mechanisms to have products donated to food charity organizations. There are organizations such as Food Bank Australia, which is also an international food charity organization that is very effective at coordinating and making use of discarded products and making them available. “Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organization, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front-line charities who are feeding vulnerable Australians. Foodbank provides more than 70% of the food rescued for food relief organizations nation-wide” (Foodbank, 2020).

Another means of reducing food waste at the retailer level is to slash various prices where appropriate and sell them for cheaper. Most of the time, this is due to products nearly their expiry dates, and therefore, it is better to sell it for cheap rather than lose out on not selling the product. Therefore, food waste is reduced by doing this strategy. Various evidence indicates that this can work across various countries if followed accordingly to the plan.

Aspects of inventory and quality control also is vital to managing the problem of food waste. Logistics side of logistics and supply chain management is very important as it can help to settle the food wastage problem. Supply and demand can be met if provided under the right circumstances. Hence why it is significant for manufacturers and retailers to work together effectively to control the appropriate numbers and levels of stock to be used and sold as soon as possible.

Different Types of Technologies

Advanced technologies can greatly assist companies to ensure to the best of their abilities that they can appropriately coordinate the arrival, then processing and subsequent dispatching of goods and related products for delivery and arrival at the appropriate stores and retailers. There are several technological programs and measures that can are used such as process automation in the warehouse basically a scanner which tracks items and operation in the warehouse. Another one is augmented reality which is when incorporating voices and vision to capture warehouse presumption this assures picked the right item. Also, one technological software’s that’s needs to mentioned which is cloud for compliance this is where cloud-based compliance technology can reduce compliance by 70 percent among new suppliers within the first six months (Food Logistics, 2020).

By using such available technological resources, this helps to manage the process better and potentially decrease the risk of losing track of and ultimately jeopardizing the delivery of products to the right places.


The issue of food waste has been shown to have strong impacts on a local, national and global scale. As found, food waste is often a result of products being manufactured and sent off to retailers for sale. Best practices are a vital matter that needs to be considered as it is where governments and major companies have to implement various strategies to help reduce the issue of food waste. There is the potential to make a lot of changes and reduce the unnecessary wastages and losses that occur. Another issue is the importance of logistics and supply chain management. It was concluded that the downstream phase of the supply chain was very crucial as it is the stage where clients, their goods, and connection to customers are smoothly connected with. Also, superior technologies can serve to meet high demands for supply and management, ensuring goods sent out by manufacturers arrive at their destinations correctly and in turn, to the destinations of the retailers correctly. Food waste is a widespread problem, but it can be reduced by following the right protocols and strategies to ensure more success of managing this issue.


  1. Edie 2020. Tesco Slashes Food Waste by 17% in One Year. [online]. Accessed 15 April 2020.
  2. EPA NSW 2020. [online]. Accessed 11 April 2020.
  3. FareShare. 2020. Fareshare. [online] Accessed 11 April 2020.
  4. Food Logistics. 2020. How Technology Is Transforming the Food Supply Chain. [online]. Accessed 11 April 2020.
  5. Foodbank 2020. [online]. Accessed 10 April 2020.
  6. Gheoldus, M., 2020. The UN Sustainable Development Goals Set Food Waste Reduction Target. [online] Accessed 11 April 2020.
  7. 2020. Consumer Research on Sustainable Eating and Food Waste – IFT.Org. [online]. Accessed 18 April 2020.
  8. Parliament 2020. [online]. Accessed 13 April 2020.
  9. Thelwell, K., 2020. Fighting Food Waste in Denmark | The Borgen Project. [online] The Borgen Project. Accessed 9 April 2020.
  10. UN Environment 2020. SDG Food Waste Index [online]. Accessed 01 May 2020.
  11. Food Waste Facts – Oz Harvest. [online] Oz Harvest. Accessed 7 April 2020.
  12. World Wildlife Fund. 2020. Fight Climate Change by Preventing Food Waste. [online]. Accessed 7 April 2020.
  13. 2020. Understanding Food Expiration Dates to Reduce Food Waste | 1 Million Women. [online]. Accessed 5 April 2020.

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Food Waste as a Widespread Problem of Our Time. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“Food Waste as a Widespread Problem of Our Time.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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Food Waste as a Widespread Problem of Our Time [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2023 Oct 3]. Available from:
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