A new, collaborative study sponsored by government and industry has shown that food losses resulting from deficiencies in the cold food chain cost nearly $4 billion in farm-gate value per annum and cause greenhouse gas emissions that are almost equivalent to those of all vehicles on Queensland roads.
Australia’s first in-depth exploration of the cost of food loss due to cold-food-chain failures, conducted by Melbourne-based Expert Group for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Refrigerants Australia, has revealed that inadequate temperature control and food-handling processes in refrigerated transports, loading docks and cold rooms are to blame for these losses.
According to the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC), the report is a wake-up call to supply-chain stakeholders.
“It is almost criminal that one quarter of Australia’s production of fruit and vegetables are never eaten,” AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell told Food&Beverage News in early June.
“This loss alone accounts for almost two million tonnes of otherwise edible food, worth $3 billion. Meat and seafood waste in the cold chain costs the country another $90 million and dairy losses total $70 million.”
The solution, Mitchell contends, lies in transparency and cooperation. “We need to work cooperatively across industry and government to improve cold-chain efficiency,” he asserts. “Most of the cold food chain’s problems are human-induced.
“Technologies and processes already exist that would dramatically cut food losses, but nothing can be achieved while food manufacturers and distribution channels operate in isolation and secrecy.”
Source: New cold chain study reveals cost of wasted food I Food&Beverage News