Food and drink manufacturers are working together with suppliers to improve farming practices. This helps farmers provide better quality ingredients, so less goes to waste.

Food and drink manufacturers are also working with farmers to improve storage and logistics, so that ingredients can stay fresher for longer.

Belgian and Dutch food processors help farmers prevent food loss

In Belgium, food manufacturers and farmers jointly developed an Integrated Quality Management Standard for the arable crops and horticulture sectors. Some criteria in the Standard are designed to avoid food waste (e.g. storage conditions that keep crops fresher for longer).

Meanwhile, a number of members of the Dutch food and drink association (FNLI) cooperate with farmers in plant breeding and spoilage prevention before, during and after harvest. For instance, breeding potatoes that have the right shape for crisps or chips helps avoid unnecessary losses during peeling and cutting in order to reduce post-harvest losses.

No milk losses

Nestlé helps dairy farmers worldwide to avoid milk losses

Nestlé works directly with small-scale dairy producers and cooperatives to build the supply chain in order to improve storage, cold chain facilities and transportation. The model has been adopted in more than 30 countries, including Brazil, Chile, China, India, Mexico and Pakistan. By building close links with dairy farmers, Nestlé can also advise them continuously on quality and farming practices, helping them maintain and enhance standards, and avoid milk losses.

For example, by collecting milk directly from farmers in India, Nestlé has succeeded in reducing milk losses to less than 0.6%. This effort has been boosted by Nestlé’s CHF 11 million investments in India in storage tanks, chillers and veterinary aid. Nestlé also initiated a milk waste mapping exercise in Pakistan, applying the World Resource Institute food loss and waste protocol. For each stage of the value chain, consultants analysed all potential causes of waste. The total milk loss in Nestlé Pakistani supply chain was estimated to be only 1.4%, significantly lower than the 15% average estimates of the Asian Development Bank for the Pakistani milk supply chain.

Danone works with partners to turn agricultural waste into fertiliser

In France, Danone has worked with partners to build a methanisation unit that turns agricultural waste into fertiliser. The project’s success is ensured locally by the participation of 48 of the 54 farmers on the Gavot plateau, who occupy 86% of the catchment area’s farmland.

The methaniser will produce 1,485,000 cubic meters of biogas for injection into the natural gas distribution grid, or 7.5 MWh. This will be the first French site to inject biogas into the public grid. This project will thus contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,000 metric tons equivalent CO2 per year.


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