Spreadsheet Modeling Applied to Food Waste Reduction in Food Supply Chains

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Pongarm Somkun
Chanthraphon Konchanthet
Metha Chatsripaiboon
Napatsorn Tangkate
Thoranan Chansangpen


Food waste is a global issue addressed by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to reduce half of the food waste at the retailer and consumer levels. The quantitative approach is required to make correct decisions regarding food waste reduction options in food supply chains. In this study, a spreadsheet modeling method was applied to achieve quantifiable impacts on food waste reduction. A case study of the downstream retail phase of a two-level supply chain of a fresh prepacked food product was used to demonstrate the model application. Information regarding the buying and consuming behaviors of consumers was collected by questionnaires to be used for stochastic analysis of inputs in the spreadsheet model. The results showed that adjusting the packaging size to match a distinct local profile could play a major role in food waste generation with appropriate sizing of retail packages enabling a reduction of up to 127 kgs. per month, or 62%, of food wastage in the supply chain. The tradeoff between the two levels of the supply chain was required to achieve this reduction of food waste. At the consumer level, smaller packaging sizes were preferred to reduce food waste which was more sensitive to the package sizes than the retailer’s preference for larger packaging sizes. As well, self-weighing of unpackaged food in quantities required by the customer could reduce food waste by 7 kgs. per month, representing a 10% reduction over the selling-buying method of small pre-packed packages. Overall, good consumer food buying alone could reduce the total food waste by 59% and good consumption practices alone could reduce the total food waste by 66%.



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