Tackling food waste with technology and circular product development

6 October 2021
Unnecessary food waste is a problem in the food industry. To bring attention to the issue, the UN has initiated the International Food Waste Day, which falls on 29 September every year. That is why Greenfood today highlights the important work being done to reduce food loss and food waste across the Greenfood Group.

Food waste occurs at all stages of the food chain, such as in agriculture, the food industry, restaurants, commercial kitchens, and grocery stores. It directly impacts the environment and climate as food production accounts for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste is also a massive waste of resources because a third of all food produced in the world is thrown away instead of consumed.

Greenfood has for several years worked systematically to reduce food waste in the food chain. By developing innovative technology solutions, exploring new packaging solutions that extend the durability of products, and by maximizing the use of raw materials, Greenfood reduces both its own and its customers' food waste.

Circular and resource-efficient product development reduces food waste
Using the entire raw material or ingredient is constantly in focus when Greenfood develops new products. The parts that Greenfood cannot use in production themselves are used in collaboration with other players, such as the juice company Rescued Fruits. Together, Greenfood and Rescued saved over 100 tonnes of fruit in 2020 by turning leftovers such as apple cores into juices and smoothies.

– We identify foods that are at risk of being thrown away and use these in our production or in collaboration with others. A broccoli stem can, for example, become a fantastic salad ingredient, in the same way that apple cores become tasty juices and smoothies, says Lisa Isakson, Head of Sustainability at Greenfood.

AI and technology lead to more reliable orders
Technical innovation is another important area where Greenfood invests time and resources to combat food waste. The Group's food tech company Picadeli has recently developed an AI platform that helps customers order the right products in the right quantity. More precise orders are extremely important for reducing food waste.

– AI technology is a substantial digital leap forward and contributes to reduced food waste by making orders more precise. Products and food that are wasted are not profitable for our business or for the environment. The less waste we produce, the better at all levels, concludes Lisa Isakson, Head of Sustainability at Greenfood.

Examples of how Greenfood works to reduce food waste

  • Use the latest technology with AI; it provides more reliable order forecasts and reduces incorrect order volumes that can generate food waste.
  • Focus on circular product development where everything in the raw materials is maximized, either by Greenfood or in collaborations with others.
  • Food that is not sold is donated to aid organizations or other actors.