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
Section I 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 Section II 6 USDA and EPA estimation methods for food loss and waste in the United States 7 Food loss in Canada 8 Measuring food losses at the national and subnational levels: FAO’s methodology for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals 9 Food loss on the farm: lessons learned from conversations with produce growers Section III 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 Section IV 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
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.