“Analyzing & controlling food waste insidesupermarkets” A solution for giving the products tocharity/people in need. Case study: INTEREX Supermarket in Peja/KosovoBjeshkaGusinjaDepartment of Social Media and WebTechnologies Linnaeus University, [email protected] Name of the supervisor: Marc JansenEquivalentof proposal (motivation, background, defined research question and/orhypotheses) MOTIVATION Currently, in Peja/Kosovo currently areoperating 4 big supermarkets and approximately 10 to 15 mini markets. One ofthese 4 supermarkets is INTEREX- that is part of the Intermarche group fromFrance, which will be the case study for this project. The motivationfor this study came from two strong sides.
First, as a worker for a continuousfive years at the INTEREX supermarket, I’ve been facing daily with the problemof food waste, and one of the most important points that we discussed in almostall of our managerial meetings was how to reduce the amount of food that isbeing wasted. We tried many ways to reduce such problems, such as promotions ofproducts, different positioning of products (and others which will be explainedin details later), but never had satisfactory results because the problem keepsbeing repeated. Living in a time when technology affected almost every part ofour lives and seeing the power of how it can ease our living process, I choseto do a research in this area and find how it can help solve some if not all ofthe above-mentioned problems. The second side which made me chose the topic is thepoverty in my country, something that we face every single day! There are a lotof people living in bad conditions, who sometimes pass days without even havingthe chance to eat some food. According to the WorldBank Report “Southeast Europe Economic Development Report”, the rateof unemployment in Kosovo is around 45.4%, while according to ASK, therate of unemployment in Kosovo is around 35.1%: urban 28.5%, rural 40.
1%, male32%, female 44.4%, youth (age: 15-24 years old) 60.2%. Furthermore, on a surveyabout labor force realized by BB & ASK & UKaid, it is stated that:”Only 23.
9% are employed”. While from UNDP reports, Kosovo has more than 43%unemployed, from who 34% are in poverty with less than 1.42 euro per day, and18% in extreme poverty with less than 0.94 euro per day.
Something that I see daily is a group of childrenwaiting at the entrance door of the supermarket, who ask always for money withthe intention to buy clothes/food or they directly ask for food to eat. Also,the same group of children are always present and waiting at the time when wethrow the food at the waste container, who jump at it to take the food as soonas we are away. Seeing food being thrown and seeing people who are missingthe food, made me want to try a solution for their common problem (losing food& needing food). In my living town – Peja, there are charityorganizations who take care of people in need, providing them with food,clothes and other living essentials. Until now I had the chance to meet one ofthem – “Red Cross”, and they confirmed that they never took any food fromsupermarkets as a charity donation. The main challenge of the project is to see how wecan use media technology to connect supermarkets and charity organizations sothe food being wasted in supermarkets can help the people in need. BACKGROUND According to Food and Agricultural Organization ofthe United Nations (2011), approximately one-third of the food produced in theworld is wasted, corresponding to 1.3 billion tons of food waste every year.
Asa problem, it gained attention from researchers, media, politicians anddifferent companies (Eriksson, M., 2015). Especially food waste at supermarkets is one of the problems whichwas treated mostly. According to 3, supermarketsgenerate very little food waste from their stores and depots. For example, in2013, only 1.
3% of all food waste came from the main supermarkets 3. This smallpercentage is because it has been a lot of work on different processes on howto minimize the amount of food that is being wasted inside supermarkets. Howeverthe above-mentioned statistics of poverty in my town, and the amount of foodbeing thrown at INTEREX supermarket (however small it might be), could result ina big help for charities. According to Eriksson, M. (2015), common reasons forfood being wasted in supermarkets are expired shelf-life or visual defects thatmake food unsellable, low demand, short shelf-life, unsuitable packaging orstorage conditions and inappropriate handling by staff and customers. Productsare considered unsellable if they have passed their best-before or use-by date.Foodcan be wasted for different reasons, which makes the food waste issue difficultto solve with one single solution, therefore, different problem-solving fieldsare addressed. The best first step is source reduction which prevents the waste thatleads to more efficient supply chains and savings to companies (Harig, 2016).
Furthermore,Harig explains that another effective way is creating food donation programsthat allow retailers to take advantage of incentives like the food donation taxcredit. A number of retailers are also taking advantage of anaerobic digestersto help generate energy to run distribution centers or even selling theleftover product as fertilizer. In addition, food wasted can be reused as animal food, food that could be given topeople in need, used for industrial uses etc. This is also explained in The USFood Recovery Hierarchy shown in the below picture.The Food Recovery Hierarchy developed by the USEPA (2015). It separates the prevention stage into twosublevels. The more preferred sublevel is source reduction and the lesspreferred sublevel is feeding hungry people.
The studies that are made recently are more focusedin details of the main factors that cause food waste, the quantities that arebeing lost, and see how these quantities can be donated to charities so theproblem could be reduced. (Gustavsson& Stage, 2011; Lebersorger & Schneider, 2014). But there also has beena big effort on how to reuse the food that is still okay to use. For example across the UK, unsold food that isstill safe to eat is being donated to local community organizations. These are groupsof people who go to the store and collect fresh fruit and vegetables that wouldpreviously have been wasted during the week 5.
Nowadays, food thrownhas been taken to another level; that in some countries it started being chasedby the law. Recently France prohibited by law food thrown without donating themto charities 6. Everything started with a huge petition on Change.org, froma municipal councilor in Courbevoie, which resulted in a decision that Franceintroduced a new law requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity.
But it is not just simple as that, since the food that is being wasted, shouldreally pass through big control in order not to represent a risk for peoplethat will reuse it. Feeding hungry people is also limited by the factthat food waste can only be donated to charity if it is surplus food still fitfor human consumption (Papargyropoulou et al., 2014). According to the FoodResearch Collaboration publication, a large-scale system of food donation couldactually have negative health and social consequences for the groups ofcitizens that it is intended to help 7. Some of the best projects realized within thetopic that will be further explored are the ones that are shortly explainedbelow: FARESHARETake freshin date and good to eat surplus from the food industry, which would otherwisego to waste. They reach 1,300 towns and cities through 20 Regional Centers,which can be found from Aberdeen to Brighton. 6,273 of them include homelesshostels, children breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for older people, domesticviolence refuges, and community cafés.
Last year the group redistributed enoughfood for 28.6 million meals and managed 13.552 tons of food. http://fareshare.
org.uk/NO FOODWASTEThe effort of creating applications to donate thecollected food resulted in the development of some apps which are really usefuland helped a lot of different groups of people. One of them is “No food waste”.It is a mission that intends to end food waste and hunger, where the workerworks with their main goal to “Set the World Hunger Free”. They recover surplusfood from different organizations with a bigger amount of people, such asparties, weddings and donate the collected food to needy and hungry people. 1.
Call us; First, you have to call a phonenumber “90877 90877”, who should come and take the excess food which is enoughfor a minimum of 50 people. If it is less than for 50 people, the food can beput at different collection points/facility center.2.
Quality Check; When the food is picked up,the quality of food should be checked and then if it’s ok to re-consume it willbe transferred to dedicated places.3. Locate Nearby Hunger Spot; The vehiclethat transfers the food then, by taking it from the nearby point for thepickup.
4. Deliver Food; The food then is distributedto the needy and hungry in the hunger spot.FOOD CLOUDWhen a store has food that it is still in good conditionsbut they cannot sell it for different reasons, FoodCloud makes possible that theyupload a short description of the food using their scanners or the smartphoneapp.
A local charity linked to the store through the platform receives anotification letting them know that food is available for collection. Thecharity responds to accept the food and go to collect it. RESEARCH QUESTIONS While doingsome literature review on my topic, saw that the world has already taken care alot of the food loss.
Furthermore, a lot of effort was given in helpingcharities and people in need with the surplus food coming either fromsupermarkets or from hotels, restaurant or any other place. It is really sadfor me to see that yet my country is very far away for such solutions. Withinthis project my main research question will be the following: “Connectingsupermarket and charity organizations for delivery of food” Which will lead to analyzing also: – Which media channels are best forestablishing a communication between supermarkets and charityorganizations/poor people?- How can technology decrease the amount of food waste in thesupermarkets? Afterobserving the food being thrown, the amount and the quality of the food, thenext steps will be classifying the food that can be distributed to charities. Icontacted one of the charities operating in my town; they are very excited forthe project. I will start working on the implementation part. What I’m planningto do is the app that stores the amount of food being thrown, and the amount offood that we can reuse. Then, a notification about the quantity of the foodwill be sent to the charity who will use the same app, if not we will informthem by email. It is not defined yet if the supermarket will take care of fooddistribution or the charities will have their people who will come and pick thefood.
The supermarket managerial staff agreed on storing the products withtheir due date, (mostly products with short due date, where we lose a biggeramount of these items). When the due date is near we will have an alert for thespecific product so we can intervene faster on selling that item. If thequantity will be huge, and the days of selling are not enough, the quantitywill be divided into two parts, some for selling and some for charity. In thiscase, charities will have a daily food supply and supermarkets can contributeto their community in a meaningful way. REFERENCES 1Eriksson, M.
(2015). Supermarket food waste prevention and management with thefocus on reduced waste for reduced carbon footprint (Unpublished master’sthesis). Uppsala: Sveriges lantbruksuniv. 2FAO (2011) Global food losses and food waste, FAO, Rome. 3″Preventing Waste. Our Food Waste.” Supermarket Food Waste | Co-Op Waste | ,Co-Operative Group Limited.
, www.co-operativefood.co.uk/food-matters/preventing-waste/our-food-waste. 4Harig, Andrew. “Feeding Hungry Americans = Priceless.
” Feeding Hungry Americans= Priceless, Food Marketing Institute., 27 June 2016,www.fmi.org/blog/view/fmi-blog/2016/06/27/feeding-hungry-americans-priceless. 5PLC, Morrisons. “Morrisons Unsold Food Programme – Waste Prevention.”Morrisons, Morrisons Ltd,my.
morrisons.com/help/information/our-unsold-food-programme. 6″DEMAND SUPERMARKETS DONATE THEIR UNSOLD FOOD.” Feedback, Global Feedback Ltd,feedbackglobal.org/supermarkets-donate-unsold-food/.
7 EdGrover. “Giving Surplus Supermarket Food to Charities Will Not Solve Hunger orWaste Problems, New Paper Claims.” Phys.
org – News and Articles on Science andTechnology, 26 Jan. 2017, phys.org/news/2017-01-surplus-supermarket-food-charities-hunger.html.