Assessment of food losses and waste and related greenhouse gas emissions along a fresh apples value chain
Sammanfattning: Reducing food waste is very important for food security and environmental issues. The aim of this study is to assess potential food losses and waste (FLW) along fresh apples value chain, related environmental impact (emissions), and identify applicable measures to reduce losses and waste. The study covered fresh apple value chain from production to consumption considering agricultural, processing, distribution and consumption stages. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses have been used. For FLW estimation, both primary data and secondary data were used. For greenhouse gas (GHG) emission assessment, secondary data was compiled and used. Considering the total FLW along the whole value chain, FLW became about 42% of the yield. The contribution of processing (post-harvest handling between farm and retail) stage is 42%, followed by the consumption stage (25%), agricultural production (19%), and the distribution (to and from retail and handling at retail) stage (14%). Considering the whole value chain, GHG emissions (organic apple) shows that agricultural production stage contributes 8%, processing 38%, distribution 18% and consumption 36%. Conventional apple emission is the same percentage at processing and distribution stage, 1% increase at agricultural production and consumption each. FLW at the end of the value chain (consumption) causes more emission per unit FLW, because of the large amount of loss at this stage and higher accumulated impacts from agricultural to consumption stages. The major causes of fruit loss ad waste are quality attributes, mechanical injuries, improper harvesting method, improper handling, inadequate storage facilities, over-purchasing, spoilage etc. Strategies to reduce FLW of apple related environmental impact include increasing awareness on FLW, improving post-harvest handling of fruits, reuse and recycle food rather than waste.
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