Quantification of food waste in retail operations: A fruit and vegetable wastage case in Paraguay

Ronen Kohan Ismael
Environmental Challenges
Resource type:
Peer review

There has been an increasing emphasis on food waste in the past decade. Food waste also persists along the supply chain, especially in Latin American countries. Thus, quantifying food waste is the first step in addressing this critical issue. This study quantifies fruit and vegetable (F&V) waste in six Paraguayan retail stores. Two categories of food waste were analyzed: warehouse waste and post-shelf waste. The total food waste was 11.5%, representing 622.5 tons of waste from 5418.6 tons purchased from suppliers on the Paraguayan market. Warehouse waste accounted for 73.3% of all food waste. The retail store average was 3.5%, while the warehouse final average was 8.4%. Due to the high degree of perishability and the poor infrastructure of the market, the economic and logistical effort to do something with the rejected F&Vs at the warehouse does not offset the benefits to the supplier of doing something with those goods. Therefore, those rejected products (mainly edible) end up as waste. Providing suppliers with a defined quality standard can help reduce the warehouse's food waste ratio (FWR).

This resource has been peer reviewed