Europe is leading the way in reducing food waste. In January 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution to reduce food waste 50 percent by 2020, and designated 2014 as the “European year against food waste.” In the U.K., an extensive five-year public awareness campaign called “Love Food Hate Waste” has contributed to an 18 percent reduction in avoidable food waste. And 53 of the leading U.K. food retailers and brands have adopted waste reduction resolutions.
“No matter how sustainably our food is farmed, if it’s not being eaten, it is not a good use of resources,” said Gunders. “Fortunately, there are ways to tackle the food waste problem, and everyone can play a role.”
When all the other solutions are worked out, retailers may want to tone down the "unnecessary abundance" of produce displays as well.
All kidding aside, how can the industry work to reduce waste? Are mandates for waste reduction the solution? What's the "payoff" for relaxing cosmetic standards if consumers shun ugly produce? What are tangible actions that the supply chain can take to reduce fruit and vegetable waste?