The Danish Answer
The World Wastes Tons of Food. Danish Answer: in Denmark, Food Rescue Has Attained the Scale & Momentum of a Cultural Movement
According to the data provided by the European Fusion project, over 88 million tons of food wastes are accumulated every year in the EU. That spawns total budget losses comprising about 143 billion Euros. This is the piece of info that makes numerous companies start looking for solutions that can help prevent such felt losses.
In particular, certain products initial get a “humble” due date (no more than a day) – it can be cooking section products, fresh fish and meat, some vegetables and fruit. The due date for most items usually ends at midnight.
Thus, supermarkets put various types of effort into minimizing the percentage of decommissioned products. For instance, after 19:00 or later, they assign discounts to items whose due date is getting closer (from 30% to 60%) and attract customers that are looking to save. This is an utterly efficient approach to both ends of the deal – business success and worldwide food wastes reduction.
Let’s take a bit more global look at the matter, however.
Colossal Food Waste Expenses & Negative Circumstances for Humanity
According to what the report by the United Nations claims, approximately ⅓ of food products produced globally turn into wastes long before they are sold on the market. This is a monstrous tendency considering that in our times of practically everything being easily available everywhere, every tenth human being in the world suffers from hunger.
Moreover, excessive production of anything, including food items, leads to the irrational consumption of energy resources. This, in turn, aggravates the negative effects of global warming: about 8-10% of methane gas, is a byproduct of natural food utilization (products are, usually, thrown into a dump where they simply rot), heavily provokes the notorious greenhouse effect.
If we mention an ethical aspect on top of that, we can see clearly why this issue is so strictly necessary to resolve – just imagine how many animals die all over the world for the sake of meat that goes to waste.
More so astounding is the fact that even progressive countries like the USA aren’t able to achieve proper food waste optimization rates. Only the Walmart retail chain alone can be considered exemplary in the matter – due to all-around automation, the company managed to make significant progress in reducing the number of overdue and prematurely spoiled goods.
Are There Any Radical Ways to Resolve the Food Waste Issues?
Currently, literally every other business niche has to modernize by implementing advanced digital solutions. This goes for online food retail as well where software developers are as active as never before, offering the efficient means of vendor-customer connection and whatnot.
In particular, Too Good to Go is a Danish project that works with over 25,000 restaurants and bakeries from 11 countries, and which is directly concerned with food waste problems. With it, users get to save ⅔ off the initial item’s cost if its due date is fast approaching. The app takes commissions only from suppliers so you can use the software for absolutely free.
There is yet another peculiar case in terms of targeted food waste optimization. Particularly, Selina Juul is a Russian immigrant who, upon moving to Denmark, was shocked by the abundance of food and how senselessly local residents treat it.
At 28 years of age, in 2008, Selina created a Facebook community called ‘Stop Wasting Food’, which ultimately allowed her to get a good share of authority among both regular Danish people and product retail owners. A few weeks after the establishment of the community, Selina got an opportunity to share her vision through one of the local Danish radio stations and even was interviewed by some local newspapers.
Her efforts resulted in attracting the attention of one of the major food market players – Anders Jensen – director of procurement in the renowned REMA 1000 chain of supermarkets.
The company where Jensen worked initiated global research, the results of which claimed that each Danish resident utilizes around 139 pounds of food. Eventually, Jensen and Selina had a meeting, after which it was decided to cancel all wholesale discounts in REMA 1000 retail outlets. This, in turn, helped reduce the total number of products sold and, in the long run, decommissioned.
Selina Juul hadn’t stopped at that, however, and took up writing a book with recipes, the main ingredients in which are food excesses.
Such a way to optimize food wastes is practiced by another neighboring country – Finland. There, many restaurants (including renowned Loop) offer recipes based on food excess. And, we must say, such establishments are quite popular both among tourists and locals.
Food Waste Optimization – More Profit for Companies, More Benefits for Nature
Mika Lyytikainen, a vice president of the Finnish retail chain S-market, stated in his interview that selling products with an approaching due date at a 60% discount may save supermarkets colossal costs. Obviously, we’re not talking about additional profits here. In the commercial aspect, it’s rather about the economic efficiency that comes with it.
Food waste optimization-related discount solutions can also be safely expected to be positively met by regular consumers, many of whom will get an opportunity to try some products they wouldn’t be able to purchase at a full price.