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Investigating Wastage and Associated Mitigation Scenarios Across Fresh Potato Supply Chains in the UK: A Critical Literature Synthesis

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Wastage across agrifood supply chains (SCs) is inherently associated to high environmental pressures considering the natural resources’ appropriation and the impacts resulting from the use of inputs like fertilisers, pesticides and energy. Furthermore, in agrifood supply networks, post-harvest treatment operations (i.e. transportation, storage, processing, packaging, refrigeration) are documented as substantial contributors to environmental impact. In this sense, agrifood wastage implies both resource appropriation and in vain environmentally relevant impacts. Except for the environmental impact, the significance of mitigating losses across agrifood SCs is further highlighted by associated ethical implications.Fresh potatoes comprise an interesting case of agrifood products as they are claimed to be one of the commodities with the highest wastage rates. Indicatively, about 53 of the total fresh potatoes’ production for direct human consumption in Switzerland is wasted, while in the United Kingdom (UK) estimates highlight losses as high as two-thirds of all produced fresh potatoes. Therefore, the threefold aim of this study is to: (i) map the end-to-end potato SC, (ii) identify waste hot-spots, and (iii) identify and explore best waste mitigation scenarios which are or could be effectively applied to akin food product supply networks.

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