Real Steps for Curbing Food Waste

Each year, an astonishing $43 billion worth of fruits and vegetables are wasted in American retail stores, restaurants and households. Between 30 and 40 percent of the food we grow in the United States never gets eaten because of quality or freshness...


One of our customers was seeing high shrink in their retail customer’s stores. Using a mobile phone-based HarvestMark app, auditors were able to efficiently and objectively sample quality and freshness at edge of shelf in stores served by different DCs. With the data instantly aggregated and access to online analytics on product performance, the supplier was able to see store practices that were affecting product quality, and identify problems in their farm operations. Analysis of store-to-store performance showed there was a significant opportunity to return days to the shopper. At their top-to-top meeting with the retailer, the supplier was able to demonstrate their category leadership by bringing facts to the table that were actionable and enabled collaboration between the parties.

Today’s fresh food supply chain is complex, and there are hundreds of drivers of waste. But don’t confuse complexity with intractability. Implementing a simple monitoring solution using today’s mobile technology has enabled growers, shippers and retailers to gain valuable new insights into their supply chain—reducing waste and increasing sales.

 

Elliott Grant is the founder and CTO of YottaMark, the company behind the HarvestMark family of food traceability products.

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