Although weather related impacts will always be challenging, more accurate forecasting by both growers and their customers was cited as the main action to prevent lettuce crops going to waste, together with changes to specifications for head sizes.
Evaluating waste in primary production is complex 'big data' challenge, so Agrimetrics has been working with WRAP to define the best ways to improve the understanding of the factors impacting food waste. There is potential to develop new approaches including data modelling, which can help provide estimates more efficiently than traditional measurement techniques like large-scale in-field assessment.
David Moon, Head of Sustainable Food at WRAP explains "We're using our experience in mapping waste and bringing together key stakeholders to pinpoint where, why and how much waste arises on farm. This work will help the UK food supply chain become more efficient and competitive, which is crucial in the coming years. It is also critical that we have the support of retailers and producers collaborating on projects to develop and share best practice. It's an exciting new area of work and we're delighted to have the support of key sector groups."
Simon Davis, Head of Partnerships, Agrimetrics, said "As Courtauld 2025 signatories, we are committed to developing evidence based insights to support the reduction of food waste across the Agri-food system.
"Our modelling approach to quantify food waste in primary production has provided greater visibility of the evidence of food waste at farm level and potential data gaps.
"We look forward to building on this work in partnership with WRAP to better quantify, measure and manage food waste across key sector groups."
The projects are the result of a roundtable meeting chaired by WRAP in 2016 that included the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) and the National Farmers Union (NFU).
To read the WRAP press announcement.
To read the report