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Notwithstanding some important obstacles which hinder robust quantification, estimates on a global and European scale indicate that an important amount of food is lost during its journey through the food production and consumption chain. A broad and diverse set of factors, including technical, economical, behavioral and policy aspects, cause these losses at each link of the chain. Food losses, which appear to be a structural inefficiency of our food system, create a moral, ecological and economic problem. It moreover provides both problems and opportunities in a situation where society strives to establish a sustainable food system able to feed 9 billion people by 2050 without exceeding the world’s ecological boundaries.
In response to growing international interest and social concerns with regard to the issue of food losses, the government of Flanders (northern region of Belgium) has taken up the challenge to address food losses. An interdepartmental working group was installed to coordinate research activities from all departments of the Flemish Government. These investments will deliver a knowledge base on which a evidence-based and stakeholder-supported policy concerning food losses can be developed. The entire chain will be reviewed in cooperation with different food chain stakeholders.
This article presents parts of the results of a more extensive research (Roels & Van Gijseghem, 2011) that reviews the existing literature on food losses and produces food loss estimates for primary production. The most important issues in animal production concern livestock mortality, disapproved carcasses in slaughterhouses and loss of milk (e.g. mastitis) and eggs. In the fishing industry, the problem of fish discards as well as losses through market intervention are reviewed. Main losses in agriculture are losses during harvest and storage of cereals, potatoes and sugar beets. Losses in horticulture manifest at both production and auction level. When all figures are aggregated it is estimated that the total food loss in the Flemish primary sector in 2010 was between 534,000 and 817,000 tonnes.
Vertaalde titel van de bijdrageVoedselverliezen in de primaire productie: cijfers voor Vlaanderen
Originele taal-2Engels
TitelProceedings CIGR-AgEng 2012 : International Conference on Agricultural Engineering
Aantal pagina's6
Plaats productieValencia, Spain
Publicatiedatumjul-2012
Pagina'sC1203
ISBN van geprinte versie84-615-9928-4
StatusGepubliceerd - jul-2012
EventInternational Conference of Agricultural Engineering, CIGR-AgEng 2012 - Valencia, Valencia, Spanje
Duur: 8-jul-201212-jul-2012

ID: 594402