Supply chain failings lead to major food waste according to study

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Supply chain planning platform RELEX has conducted research into what the major causes for food waste in the supply chain are.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is responsible for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And it is essential that logistics providers work with retailers to combat the waste that occurs in their supply chains.

Svante Göthe, Head of Sustainability at RELEX has outlined the main causes of waste across the food supply chain and believes that AI could be a solution for the problem.

Firstly, ordering stock after manually observing  a store leads to unnecessary food waste as there is plenty of room for human error. Instead, a company could use integrated data to order the precise amount of stock needed, reducing the amount of waste the business produces.

Overstocking with fresher produce also increases waste as some customers disregard food that looks ‘a little weird’ or not as fresh, despite it being perfectly fine.

Göthe said: “Food waste across supply chains is most likely occurring due to inefficient ordering processes. When managed manually at the store level and without a deeper understanding of sales and trends data, it’s not possible to have optimal stock levels. This inefficiency has led to unnecessary added work for restocking teams. Simply put, technology is the answer.

“Machine learning-based supply chain solutions can help food retailers to reduce waste by transforming how they order and manage fresh goods.

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