Greenhouse production to be solution for food waste

13-02-2020    10:20   |    Greenhouse Grower

Last month, USDA released a new report addressing some of the factors contributing to food losses (specifically fruits and vegetables) on the farm and during the shipping process.

Specifically, the report cited price volatility, labor costs and availability, supply chain constraints, retail and consumer quality standards, contract incentives, and existing policy as factors influencing food loss on farms and in distribution channels.

According to the report, USDA estimates the value of uneaten food at the retail and consumer levels at around $161.6 billion annually. While a considerable number of studies have examined this type of food loss, few have analyzed the economic factors that result in loss of food on farms and in distribution channels. Food loss as it relates to fresh fruits and vegetables is of particular interest because these foods are highly perishable and important to diet quality.

Of note, when it comes to weather as a factor that contributes to food loss, the report cites greenhouse production as a potential solution.

“Moving production to controlled environments, such as greenhouses or vertical farming concepts, has the potential to reduce food waste by minimizing environmental exposure that can create cosmetic imperfections. These production systems also allow production schedules to synchronize to the timing of typical consumer demand patterns rather than to favorable weather patterns, which may also reduce waste through closer alignment of the timing of the demand and supply of perishable produce.”
Check out the full report here.

Source: Greenhouse Grower
Photo Courtesy of Charchaguru

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