Food waste in the Swiss food service industry – Magnitude and potential for reduction.
Sommaire de l'article
Food losses occur across the whole food supply chain. They have negative effects on the economy and the environment, and they are not justifiable from an ethical point of view. The food service industry was identified by Beretta et al. (2013) as the third largest source of food waste based on food input at each stage of the value added chain. The total losses are estimated 18% of the food input, the avoidable losses 13.5%. However, these estimations are related with considerable uncertainty. To get more reliable and detailed data of food losses in this sector, the waste from two companies (in the education and business sectors) was classified into four categories (storage losses, preparation losses, serving losses, and plate waste) and seven food classes and measured for a period of five days. A questionnaire evaluated customer reaction, and a material flow analysis was used to describe the mass and monetary losses within the process chain. The study found that in company A (education sector) 10.73% and in company B (business sector) 7.69% of the mass of all food delivered was wasted during the process chain. From this, 91.98% of the waste in company A and 78.14% in company B were classified as avoidable. The highest proportion of waste occurred from serving losses with starch accompaniments and vegetables being the most frequently wasted items. The quantities of waste per meal were 91.23g (value CHF 0.74) and 85.86g (value CHF 0.44) for company A and company B, respectively. The annual loss averaged 10.47 tonnes (value CHF 85,047) in company A and 16.55 tonnes (value CHF 85,169) in company B. The customer survey showed that 15.79% (n=356) of the respondents in company A and 18.32% (n=382) in company B produced plate waste. The main causes of plate waste cited were 'portion served by staff too large' and 'lack of hunger'. Sustainable measures need to be implemented in the food service industry to reduce food waste and to improve efficiency.