Local study identifies key areas in global food losses
Supermarket.co.za - Feb 17th 2017, 12:27
A South African study has identified key areas of the global food supply chain where high losses occur, particularly in developing countries. Reducing food losses and waste can contribute to efforts to alleviate world hunger.
Food is lost at each step of the ‘food supply chain’. Losses occur during production, harvesting, handling, storage, processing, distribution and even during consumption.
The study, funded by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security and conducted by University of Pretoria’s professor Elna Buys with the help of collaborators has revealed first-world consumers waste food, for example, by discarding food when it reaches its ‘sell-by’ date.
In developing countries, food is lost across the entire food chain. The reasons for this include outdated harvesting techniques, poor storage and cooling facilities, limited infrastructure, and inadequate packaging and marketing systems.“The food industry’s unscientific determination of shelf life also contributes to food loses,” says Buys.
Since many low-income or unemployed South African consumers rely on the informal food sector to supply their food, helping small-scale farmers and informal traders to reduce losses could ultimately benefit both suppliers and consumers.
South Africa loses food in both first- and third-world ways. For instance, Buys and her team discovered that many ready-to-eat meals on supermarket shelves were still perfectly safe to eat even after the ‘sell-by’ or ‘use-by’ dates listed on the packaging.
Worryingly, however, some foods that were still within their stipulated shelf lives had high levels of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
“This may point to problems with the cold storage or packaging aspects of the food supply chain. For both the formal and informal food sectors, packaging systems that extend the shelf life of fresh foods would help to make food safer and reduce waste,” concludes Buys.
Pick n Pay's new Smart Shopper changes - and plans to cut down on food wastage
16/10/2018 - 15:33
As part of its financial results for the six months ending 26 August 2018, Pick n Pay has announced a number of new changes coming to its Smart Shopper programme.
SA consumers in tight corner as high prices, fuel hikes take their toll
15/10/2018 - 09:47
With more than 40% of South African consumers being technically over-indebted, the reality is that most of them are no longer able to make any further adjustments to their budgets, Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, told Fin24.
Record fuel prices to take painful toll on cash-strapped consumers, SMEs - CEO
10/10/2018 - 09:32
The latest fuel price increase, the highest on record so far, will seriously affect already stretched household finances, according to Gwarega Mangozhe, CEO of the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA).
Asking customers to donate when they buy stuff may be good for business
21/09/2018 - 14:18
SA consumers taking full advantage of retail reward programmes
20/09/2018 - 11:19
Consumers have saved billions of rands in offered loyalty programme rewards and are increasingly taking advantage of reward points as the country’s tough economic climate impacts on consumer goods such as fuel, electricity and food.