The Economics of Food Loss in the Produce Industry: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Economics of Food Loss in the Produce Industry

1st Edition

Edited by Travis Minor, Suzanne Thornsbury, Ashok K Mishra


336 pages | 45 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367209117
pub: 2019-12-18
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Food loss is a serious issue in the United States. It affects all aspects of the supply chain, from farmers to consumers. While much is already known about loss at the consumer level, our understanding of the amount of food that never makes it to this stage is more limited. The Economics of Food Loss in the Produce Industry focuses on the economics of food loss as they apply to on-farm produce production, and the losses that are experienced early. 

The book both analyses current food loss literature and presents new empirical research. It draws lessons from those who have encountered these issues by focusing on how past regional or national estimates of food loss have been conducted with varying degrees of success. It includes chapters on several themes: understanding food loss from an economic perspective; efforts to measure food loss; case studies across commodities within the produce industry; and economic risks and opportunities. The commodity case studies provide detailed discussion of factors impacting changes in loss levels within the produce industry, and a wealth of knowledge on strategies and contexts is developed. The book concludes by identifying critical knowledge gaps and establishing future priorities.

This book serves as an essential reference guide for academics, researchers, students, legislative liaisons, non-profit associations, and think tank groups in agriculture and agricultural economics.

Table of Contents

(1) Introduction to Food Loss in the Produce Industry

(2) Loss and Waste: Are We Really Measuring A Problem?

(3) Existing Efforts in Measuring and Modeling Early Value-Chain Food Losses

(4) Economic Trade-Offs in Food Loss Policies

(5) Empirical Modeling of Food Loss in the Produce Sector

(6) USDA and EPA’s Estimation Methods for Food Loss and Waste in the United States

(7) Food Loss in Canada

(8) Measuring Food Losses at the National and Sub-National Levels: FAO’s Methodology For Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals

(9) Food Loss on the Farm: Lessons Learned from Conversations with Produce Growers

(10) Tomato Tales: Comparing Loss-Reduction Drivers and Opportunities Across U.S. Fresh Tomato Supply Chains (11) Case Study on Processing Tomatoes

(12) Case Study on Food Loss in Fresh Potatoes

(13) Strawberries: Food Loss and Loss Prevention Opportunities

(14) Understanding Food Loss in Romaine Lettuce

(15) Peaches

(16) Market Price Volatility and Food Loss at the Farm Level

(17) The Evolving Role of Labor Availability in Production Decisions and Food Loss

(18) The Role of Technology along the Supply Chain in Mitigating Food Loss

(19) Contracting and Quality Standards in Fresh Produce Markets and How They Impact Food Loss

(20) From Gleaning to For-Profits: Efforts to Mitigate Food Loss and Feed People

(21) The Role of Policy in Addressing Food Loss

(22) Food Loss as a Wicked Problem

About the Editors

Travis Minor is the Cross-Commodity Analyst for Specialty Crops in the Crops Branch of the Market and Trade Economics Division of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Suzanne Thornsbury is Chief of the Crops Branch in the Market and Trade Economics Division of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Ashok K. Mishra is Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation Chair in Food Management, Morrison School of Agribusiness, W. P. Carey School of Business, at the Arizona State University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Agricultural Economics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Agribusiness