news | 2021-02-11
Boxes with fruit, vegetables and pototes photographed from above.

Measure more – and reduce food waste

Now it will be easier for food companies to measure and reduce their food waste. In a Resource-financed project, IVL and Rise have developed concrete guidelines that can help different types of food companies in their work.

– Mapping how much food waste occurs in the food chain, and where it happens, is an important piece of the puzzle to be able to reduce food waste, says Tova Andersson at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that one third of all food produced is wasted. In June 2020, the Government decided on two milestones for food waste to be achieved by 2025, and food waste will be reduced so that the total food waste is reduced by at least 20 percent, and the proportion of food that reaches shops and consumers will increase.

As a company, reducing its losses in the food chain is an effective way of reducing its costs and its environmental impact at the same time. But it can be difficult to know how to do and how to get started. In the current project, IVL and Rise have therefore produced three industry-specific documents that are adapted for wholesalers, the dairy industry and the fish processing industry.

– We have developed a method that is manageable. Our hope is that companies will dare to test this and see the benefits with it, says Karin Östergren, project manager at Rise.

The project has been based on the tool for measuring and reporting food waste Opens in new window. that was developed within IVA's project Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy, which IVL has written about previously.

The tool is used by the food actors involved in Cooperation for reduced food waste Opens in new window.. The voluntary agreement means that the companies set goals to reduce food waste and food waste, but also that they measure and collect data to follow up the goals and to see where measures need to be put in place.

– Through the measurements, companies get an idea of ​​how much food waste their businesses generate and can work with improvements. In this project, food waste experts and companies have developed the industry-specific guides together, with simple but at the same time robust methods for collecting data. By relating to EU legislation on what is to be measured, as well as the new Swedish environmental goals, companies will also be able to more easily contribute to Swedish waste statistics and the follow-up of the new environmental goals without additional work, says Tova Andersson.

Reports and tutorials can be downloaded here. Opens in new window.

For more information, please contact:
Tova Andersson, tova.andersson@ivl.se +46 (0)10-788 67 96
Karin Östergren, karin.ostergren@rise.se +46 (0)70-4205619

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Last updated: 2021-10-04

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.

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