Infor helps manufacturers make India sustainable by minimising food wastage

Infor helps manufacturers make India sustainable by minimising food wastage
Representation purpose only

According to Infor, businesses must optimise operations and adopt more transparent food supply chains in order to meet growing concerns about food security, climate change, and the ecosystem's stressors.

According to Marcel Koks, Infor's industry and solution strategy director for food and beverage, food waste is a major concern, putting a strain on efforts to develop a sustainable future. Each action made along the food supply chain, from farm to plate, has both short- and long-term implications that contribute to a worldwide issue. Food loss happens at every stage of the food supply chain, from production and processing to retail and consumption. While consumer exploitation accounts for the majority of food waste, significant losses occur mostly at the production and processing stages in poor countries.”

According to the UN Environment Program's Food Waste Index, approximately 900 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, with home food waste accounting for 60% of that total. Food waste is increasing in India, which ranks 94th on the 2020 Global Hunger Index. Nonetheless, each Indian household wastes an average of 50 kg of food every year, according to the Food Waste Index Report 2021.

The global food system is responsible for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the most significant contributors to climate change, which makes the quantity of food wasted an even more difficult figure to accept. Typically, this extra food waste ends up in landfills, where it contributes to the production of strong greenhouse gases with catastrophic environmental consequences.

“One of the critical areas to solve is consumer uncertainty over product expiration dates. Clearly, consumer education has a role in minimising food waste. Consistent labelling is necessary to raise awareness about how best-before dates differ from use-by dates,” Koks explained.

“There is a need for additional information regarding refrigerator temperatures. For example, a 1°C increase in refrigerator temperature can slash the shelf life of some products by a whole day. Several supermarkets are experimenting with smart shelves that automatically adjust the pricing of items based on their use-by and best-before dates. This technology has the potential to permeate the house, with smart refrigerators alerting users to approaching use-by dates,” Koks remarked.

“When it comes to shelf life, one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to perishable products, which can also vary significantly from batch to batch. Here, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) skills can assist producers in considering all the many variables present at each level of the farm-to-fork supply chain in order to develop a dynamic shelf life for each product,” Koks explained.

The Internet of Things (IoT) enables the measurement of critical variables and the transmission of this critical information to intelligent systems for analysis in order to determine the optimal use-by or best-before dates that are aligned with the unique quality attributes of an individual batch of products.

“The correct technology is critical to food makers' success. Forward-thinking firms are already realising this, leveraging the information and technologies available to them across the whole supply chain to get the insight necessary to establish best practises for dynamic dating of food items. This method lays the way for less food waste globally, demonstrating the food industry's united commitment to address one of the most critical issues,” Koks added.