1st Edition

The Economics of Food Loss in the Produce Industry

Edited By Travis Minor, Suzanne Thornsbury, Ashok K. Mishra Copyright 2020
    336 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    334 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    Section I

    1 Introduction to food loss in the produce industry

    Travis Minor and Suzanne Thornsbury

    2 Loss and waste: are we really measuring a problem?

    Elise Golan, Travis Minor, and Suzanne Thornsbury

    3 Existing efforts in measuring and modeling early value-chain food losses

    Brian E. Roe

    4 Economic trade-offs in food loss policies

    Fred Kuchler and Travis Minor

    5 Empirical modeling of food loss in the produce sector

    Timothy J. Richards and Ashok K. Mishra

    Section II

    6 USDA and EPA estimation methods for food loss and waste in the United States

    Jean Buzby, Claudia Fabiano, and Jeanine Bentley

    7 Food loss in Canada

    Abdel Felfel

    8 Measuring food losses at the national and subnational levels: FAO’s methodology for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals

    Carola Fabi and Alicia English

    9 Food loss on the farm: lessons learned from conversations with produce growers

    Lisa K. Johnson and Rebecca D. Dunning

    Section III

    10 Tomato tales: comparing loss-reduction drivers and opportunities across U.S. fresh tomato supply chains

    Gregory Baker, Linda Calvin, Anne Gillman, Lisa Kitinoja, Travis Osland, Pete Pearson, Leigh Prezkop, Brian E. Roe, Edward Spang, and Jean Baptiste Tooley

    11 Case study on processing tomatoes

    Brenna Ellison and Sharon Razap Skorbiansky

    12 Case study on food loss in fresh potatoes

    Timothy J. Richards and Ashok K. Mishra

    13 Strawberries: food loss and loss prevention opportunities

    Adriel S. Hsu-Flanders, Laura Gallagher, and Norbert L. W. Wilson

    14 Understanding food loss in romaine lettuce

    Travis Minor and Gregory Astill

    15 Peaches

    Claudia Hitaj

    Section IV

    16 Market price volatility and food loss at the farm level

    Michael K. Adjemian and Mesbah Motamed

    17 The evolving role of labor availability in production decisions and food loss

    Steven Zahniser, Claudia Hitaj, Brandon Johnson, and Tom Hertz

    18 The role of technology along the supply chain in mitigating food loss

    Brenna Ellison, Travis Minor, Suzanne Thornsbury, and Greg Astill

    19 Contracting and quality standards in fresh produce markets and how they impact food loss

    Sharon Razap Skorbiansky, and Brenna Ellison

    20 From gleaning to for-profits: efforts to mitigate food loss and feed people

    Laura Gallagher, Adriel S. Hsu-Flanders, and Norbert L. W. Wilson

    21 The role of policy in addressing food loss

    Emily Broad Leib and Katie Sandson

    22 Food loss as a wicked problem

    Suzanne Thornsbury and Travis Minor


    Travis Minor is 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.