Tackling on-farm food losses

“Tackling food loss and waste has become a major priority for the food industry and is of increasing interest to consumers and policymakers. This much-needed research will help improve our understanding of the economic cost of these losses, and identify how we can tackle this complex issue together”. Jeremy Boxall, Commercial Manager, LEAF.

During each harvest a proportion of fruit and vegetables grown does not make it to the consumer. There is a lack of good evidence on the scale of losses that occur on-farm, however the causes are known to include many complex factors. These include unexpected changes in consumer demand, poor weather and labour shortages.

The objective of this project is to provide a detailed understanding of on-farm food losses across England in the lettuce and strawberry sectors. This will help farmers and the wider food industry to identify opportunities for reducing losses and creating a more sustainable, profitable fruit and vegetable sector.

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Funding and delivery partners
The research is funded by Defra and commissioned by WRAP. The Warwick Crop Centre and agri-food research consultancy 3Keel are responsible for undertaking the research. The project is guided by steering groups with representatives from the AHDB, NFU, LEAF and farming businesses.