Nicolai Prytz, sustainability and strategy director at TOMRA, has looked at how businesses, consumers and policymakers can help make the future of food sustainable.
The food supply chain is certainly one area where there is urgent need for improved sustainability. System inefficiencies in the food sector can cause an unnecessary output of energy during production, which amplifies the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture, including unstable growing conditions for many crops and an overall reduction in the volume of produce from arable land. These issues, coupled with the rise in global population and demand for food, represent significant areas of concern for the food industry – from farm to fork.
Nicolai states that action needs to be taken both to reduce food waste and tackle climate impacts in and from the food supply chain. He comments that the key to make the future of food sustainable is the early adoption of best practices across the supply chain, for which technological innovation can be a major driver.
He says: “At TOMRA, our sorting and grading solutions can help increase the yield of produce by between 5-10 per cent, which when put into context equates to as much as 25,000 trucks of potatoes every year. This allows businesses to maximize yields and recovery rates, while reducing waste and improving the overall quality of the produce.”
“Our sorting solutions can help clean up crops that in the past would not be harvested, if damaged by adverse weather events, like hail, strong winds or torrential rain. Such events typically mean that incoming defect loads are high, but sensor-based cleaning of these damaged crops, together with removing subtle defects, has a strong positive impact on the shelf life of produce like fresh fruits and salads.”
To achieve a sustainable future for the food industry governments, corporates and consumers alike must change the way in which they produce and handle food – from farm to fork. With the world population set to increase to nearly 10 billion people over the next 30 years, the industry must adapt and adopt new practices to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that agricultural land is used as sustainably as possible.
By 2050, food demand will increase by 50 per cent, so meeting these challenges is vital to ensure food sector sustainability for future generations. TOMRA Food is committed to leading the resource revolution through their technology, helping improve yields, reduce waste and use our food resources more efficiently – three key factors in food sustainability.
Through working and collaborating with governments, policymakers and businesses, TOMRA works to improve the sustainability of the food supply chain and create a prospering food sector for the future.