To solve food loss and waste issues
Part 1 : Trend in consumer issues and consumer's attitude / behavior
Chapter 2 : [Feature] Responsibility to create, responsibility to use, and responsibility to reduce - Reduction of food loss and waste for sustainable society -
Section 2 : To solve food loss and waste issues
Situation surrounding food loss and waste
- In Japan, 6.12 million tons of food loss and waste were generated in FY2017.
Causes for food loss and waste generation
- Food loss and waste are generated in all stages from beginning to end of food life cycle.
- Food loss and waste in the food supply chains are closely related to consumer's attitude/behavior, such as freshness orientation and their understanding toward defective goods.
Analysis by stage - Production stage/manufacturing stage -
- Approximately 80% of the respondants have purchased non-standard agricultural and marine products.
- There is a possiblity that more people would purchase them when consumers easily reach them.
Palsystem Consumers' Co-operative Union
In broccoli processing, they normally cut off approximately 45% of the stem part, but the disposal rate is reduced to 25% by leaving the stem longer.
School lunch utilization project that addresses social issues (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
Local food and non-standard farm products are utilized for school lunch (City of Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture).
Source: "FY2018 Result report for the school lunch utilization project that addresses social issues (Board of Education, City of Fukuroi" (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)
Nichirei Foods Inc.
Introduced X-ray tests using AI. By improving the test accuracy, they can now accurately detect bones in fried chicken, and reducing the disposal amount by half. They can now detect finer bones in food than before.
Analysis by stage - Distribution stage -
- Since multiple parties are involved in the distribution stage, it is important to solve issues by the entire food supply chain.
(1) Relaxation of delivery deadlines (revising one-third rule), (2) Labelling of "best before" date by year and month only, (3) Promotion of appropriate ordering of daily foods
(1) Relaxation of delivery deadlines (revising one-third rule)
The one-third rule refers to the business practice that is unique to the food industry, in which the best before date is divided into 3 parts and food manufacturers and wholesalers deliver products to retailers before the end of the first part period.
If the delivery deadline is revised to 1/2 from 1/3,
- - Food manufacturers: Unshipped disposal is reduced.
- - Logistics center: Amount of products pased delivery deadline is reduced, and returned goods is also reduced.
In addition, we have learned that there is almost no problem, such as store disposal increase, in retail stores for some food.
("Commercial practices examination working team for reducing food loss and waste" of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)
(2) Labelling of "best before" date by year and month only
In the stage of food distribution, food loss and waste are sometimes generated when they can't deliver products whose best before date is earlier than that of products already delivered (date inversion). By labelling best before date by year and month only, we can reduce the frequency of date inversion occurrence and efficiently distribute the available inventory.
Labelling of "best before" date by year and month only prevents small lot loads by best before date and can effectively improve work efficiency in the distribution industry, leading to the promotion of "white distribution" activities. Also in the wholesale industry, they can store products with the same best before dates in groups, meaning that it can streamline storage spaces, loading work, stocking work, etc.
The Consumer Affairs Agency revised the food labelling standards so that they can also choose the year, month, and 10-day period labelling (beginning/middle/end of the month) in addition to the year, month, and date labelling for the preparation timing, rice polishing time, etc. for brown rice and polished rice in 2020.
Analysis by stage - Retail stage -
- In the retail stage, food loss and waste are generated due to mismatched demand/supply expectations and unsold goods due to passing the sales deadline.
- While many consumers understand the meanings of and the difference between the best before date and use by date, they tend to seek fresh food.
- Approximately 60% of consumers buy products close to the best before date/use by date if the price is reduced.
→Selling off methods that are economically advantageous for consumers, such as clearance sales, are also effective.
Analysis by stage - Eating out stage -
- In the eating out stage, food loss and waste are generated due to excessive amount of cooked food and leftovers by consumers.
- While approximately 90% of consumers agree to taking food home, only approximately 20% have brought food home.
In food service industries, approximately 62% of the food disposal, etc. is estimated to be from food loss and waste, which is the largest number compared to other industries.
*Estimation for FY2017 (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)
The most important action is to enjoy and eat all of the food that was provided.
If they cannot finish the entire dish, it is also effective to take it home.
|Introduce small portion menus||Order appropriate amount|
|Give incentives for no leftovers||Promote no leftover campaigns|
|Take action for customers taking leftovers home||Take leftovers home|
Container to take leftovers home
Ministry of the Environment, Consumer Affairs Agency, and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held the "New Doggy Bag Idea Contest" to recruit ideas to disseminate and establish the culture of taking leftovers home from restaurants in Japan (March, 2020).
Analysis by stage - Household consumption stage -
- 2.84 million tons, which amount to approximately 46% of the food loss and waste, are estimated to be generated in households.
- It is important for consumers to promote food loss and waste reduction in the methods suitable for individuals' lifestyles.
- Major food that tends to be thrown out in households (in the order) is "staple food (rice, bread, noodles)", "vegetables", and "side dishes". The reasons for throwing them out (in the order) are "leftovers", "it had gone bad", "it was past the best before date", and "it was past the use by date."
- If they don't buy what they don't need in the first place, they would not generate food loss and waste by not being able to use it up.
- By learning about how to organize food when storing and each storage method suitable for each food and practicing, over-purchasing and allowing the best before date/use by date to pass can be prevented.
- Even if the food has gone past the best before date, it is important for consumers to determine whether or not it is edible.
- The Consumer Affairs Agency conducted a demonstration survey for activities to contribute to reduction of food loss and waste in 2018 and conducted a follow-up survey in the following year.
- Raising "mottainai" awareness and economic motivation are effective to reduce food loss and waste.
Survey on the action for food loss and waste reduction in Tokushima Prefecture (2018)
Approximately 100 monitored households were divided into "intervened group", in which activities to reduce food loss and waste were promoted, and "non-intervened group", in which activities were not promoted. Households in both groups were requested to weigh and record the food loss and waste from the household.
Intervened group: Reduced the amount of food loss and waste by approximately 40%
Non-intervened group: Reduced the amount of food loss and waste by approximately 20%
→Even only the "weighing" and "recording" are effective in reducing food loss and waste.
When we converted food loss and waste into monetary amount in the intervened group, it led to money saving of 2.5 yen per household per day.
Follow-up for the "Survey on the action for food loss and waste reduction in Tokushima Prefecture (2019)"
Studied changes in awareness/behavior, activities, and weighing situation in households that cooperated with the survey.
While only approximately 10% of the people who cooperated with the survey continue to weigh food loss and waste amount, most of them continue to promote the efforts to reduce it.
Main reasons for continuing to promote the efforts are "Mottainai" and "It leads to money saving for the household. "
Analysis by stage - Effective utilization stage -
- Foods supposed to be disposed even in good quality can be effectively utilized by delivering to people in poverty, children's cafeteria, stricken areas on disasters and other places where food is needed.
- Food banks have some issues such as weak management bases, lack of public recognition, risks accompanied by food donation, and necessary to collaborate with various organizations.
[Food bank activities]
Activities to receive food that is still edible, such as unused food, from food related business operators and other parties and to provide the food to those who cannot sufficiently obtain necessary food due to poverty, disasters, etc.
[Food drive activities]
Activities promoted by various organizations/bodies, such as schools, workplaces, and other groups, in which they collect unused food from households and donate the collected food to food bank, welfare facilities, etc.
In order to promote food loss and waste as a national movement
- Reduction of food loss and waste is a familiar issue that everyone can promote. Various organizations are collaborating and promoting their efforts as a national movement.
- Not limited to steady promotion activities to consumers, new business models connecting various organizations have also been started.
- Administrators (national and local governments) actively proposes food loss and waste reduction, and arrange for schemes to support all subjects to participate easily in the movements.
Zenkoku Seikatsu Gakko Renraku Kyogikai/National Life Committee /Association of Creating Future
Promotes the "national movement to reduce food loss and waste" by utilizing community-based organizations
- - They prepare and distribute "recipes" using food that tends to result in food loss and waste.
- - They established the first day of each month as the "food loss and waste review day" and promote the activities to weigh the food loss and waste and record in the "own reduction household accounts book."
- - They promote food drives by utilizing community-based organizations.
Better Home Association
They introduce the knowledge regarding storage/cooking of food in households based on scientific reasoning
- - They offer consumer education in the food field through cooking classes, publications, etc.
- - They promote events, such as commemoration days and senryu poem collection, as part of "activities to treasure food."
- - They introduce food storage methods and ideas on not wasting food that tends to become surplus (Book to prevent wasting precious food).
- - They introduce freezing/thawing methods based on scientific reasoning (Positive freezing book).
They "match" various organizations to reduce food loss and waste
Matching to connect primary industry producers and consumers to create communication
They sell edible products that cannot be sold in stores, such as food that has past the sales deadline, and donate part of the sales to social contribution organizations.
TABETE matches surplus food at restaurants and food services with users who are willing to eat them.
Kyoto Food Center
They commission children support projects to social welfare committees and operate food banks.
- Japan's first system in which an administration matches food providers and recipients