New Business Development aimed for Food Waste and Loss Reduction using AI (2017)
With the aim to reduce waste that is generated during food value chain (manufacturing, wholesale, retail and consumption) and to improve productivity, we supported the introduction of AI based food waste simulation tool designed via sharing information between upstream side of the chain (retail and consumption) and downstream (manufacturing and wholesale).
Food Loss and Wasted and Social Background
One of the goals for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by United Nations is responsible consumption and production to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” In specifics it adopted the goal that calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains (including postharvest losses) by 2030.
Based on this goal, in EU FUSION project was commenced to research food loss and waste. In France it was made illegal for supermarkets to dispose of the expiring food. In Denmark food waste is addressed via public-private partnership.
In Japan, about 17 million tons of food waste is generated nationwide, of which about 5-8 million tons is said to be food weaste, which is food that could be still consumed yet wasted. This equals approximately twice the amount of food aid worldwide (about 4 million tons), which is comparable to the production volume of rice in Japan (about 8.5 million tons). Awareness level on this topic is rising as this is a social issue and working team was established to address business practice to improve this situation.
The causes of food loss and waste varies, but one of the known reasons is that the information is not shared within the value chain. Purchase history and consumption behavior information accumulated on retail side where buying power is is not shared with wholesale or manufacturing side. This is said to be one of the causes for over production and excessive inventory. Information regarding food loss or value that is wasted is often not shared so that the companies that can help this situation is losing the opportunity to do so as well.
We investigated on the causes of the food loss and waste on each step of the value chain covering from retail, wholesale, to manufacturing. We then presented new business development plan to retailers and wholesalers. We also supported IT companies to deploy their AI based food waste simulation tool.
We also hosted activities that raise social awareness regarding food waste reduction via public-private partnership with front running stakeholders.