What is Sustainable Management of Food?
Sustainable Management of Food is a systematic approach that seeks to reduce wasted food and its associated impacts over the entire life cycle, starting with the use of natural resources, manufacturing, sales, and consumption and ending with decisions on recovery or final disposal.
What is Wasted Food and Where Does it Come From?
Food waste in Hong Kong
At present, most of Hong Kong’s food waste is disposed of at landfills together with other municipal solid waste (MSW). In 2020, there were some 10,809 tonnes of MSW disposed of at landfills each day. Of these, about 3,255 tonnes (30%) were food waste, constituting the largest MSW category.
The current practice of disposing of biodegradable food waste at landfills is not sustainable and is environmentally undesirable as it depletes the limited landfill space, creates odour nuisance, generates leachate and landfill gases that require further mitigation measures to deal with, and squanders the useful organic contents.
In 2018, a daily average of 3,565 ton of food waste is produced in Hong Kong and only 2.8% of that is recovered and processed. Furthermore, as of Feb 2019, there are two major food waste recycling facilities in Hong Kong; O∙PARK1 in Siu Ho Wan and Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works. A combined daily processing capacity of 230 tonnes, it’s been proven that the issue is the inability to recover them.
We studied predecessors in the industry, their business models and their main causes of failure. They fail to remain competitive with the heavily subsidised government facilities and their services. They had to remain their charges low to attract customers but their operating costs were high.
We plan on sourcing food waste processing capital as well as distributing them. They would semi-process food waste, hence making recovery and transportation much more effective. For example, we would collect processed food waste from restaurants who purchased our products and deliver them to our local farms. Ultimately, the concept should be very spontaneous and we believe it could be administrated in many ways.
We believe the solution we offer would be affective as first off, our solution creates clear incentives for participation. These semi-processed food waste is much easier to handle or even store for a short period of time. This provides much greater flexibility for customers with our machines when dealing with their food waste.In addition, the machines are very affordable, making them a great long term investment. It’s also compact, allowing it to be fitted in smaller restaurants.
The economic impact of food waste
Based on 2009 commodity prices at producer level, the FAO estimates the economic costs of global wastage of agricultural food products, thus excluding fish and seafood, at $750 billion (FAO, 2013a). In 2014, FAO adapted the figures to 2012 prices and replaced the producer prices for post-agricultural wastage with import/export market prices.
This leads to a final monetary value of $936 billion for global food wastage (FAO, 2014). At European level, costs of edible waste are estimated to be at around €143 billion for EU-28 in 2012, based on the value of the edible food at each specific stage along the food chain where it is lost (FUSIONS, 2016). Two-thirds of these costs, or €98 billion, relates to food waste from households whereas the second largest contributor is the food service sector, with a food wastage cost of €20 billion.
The developmental significance
More than three billion people are malnourished and many of our planet’s 7 billion inhabitants eat diets low in quality. When considering sustainable food development, the goal is to ensure a future when this expanded population has both enough food available to eat and access to high quality, nutritious foods.
Sustainability and consumer values
Sustainability has become a vital path for ambitious corporates to approach consumers through common values and goals. Consumers are willing to buy more from companies that share their values and principles. Increasingly and rapidly consumer values are shifting towards sustainable development. This rapid shift in values has created the need for marketing communications to become anchored in appropriate sustainable marketing principles. So, it follows that appropriate sustainability marketing creates higher and longer value-based relationships with consumers.