This article is from the WeChat public account: interface culture (BooksAndFun) , author: woods people, from the title figure: vision China

In September of this year, “Hema Fresh Fresh Discards Large-scale Food” on the social network, and the interface culture has written a comment on this.

At the time, there was a notable view that waste was a business’s (and even the whole society) The rational move after weighing the pros and cons. However, studies have shown that the wasteful behavior of merchants will have a negative impact on consumer brand loyalty. A 2016 Deloitte report surveyed 5,000 consumers and pointed out that today, about half of consumers make purchasing decisions based on factors such as the social influence of products, corporate transparency, health, and public welfare. In other words, those food companies that are exposed to food waste and do not take action are likely to face more and more consumer doubts.

From the perspective of the whole society, food waste has reached a serious level that must be resolved. The data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows that approximately one-third of the world’s food produced each year is wasted, and the way we produce, consume and waste food has become the biggest threat to the natural environment. Industry research has found that each of us has an inescapable responsibility for food waste-in fact, the people who waste the most food are consumers at the end of the food consumption value chain.

Image source: Visual China

Is food waste really an unsolvable problem under the current economic and commercial mechanisms? A few days ago, at the “Nordic Food Policy Research Lab” seminar co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Sweden in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, representatives of non-profit organizations, researchers, and industry professionals from Nordic countries and China discussed how to solve global food The issue of waste was shared. Relevant practices at home and abroad have proven that food waste can be improved through policy guidance, inter-organizational cooperation, reshaping of consumption processes, and publicity and publicity. However, to completely change the status quo, we still need to coordinate All stakeholders across the food consumption value chain. In China, the problem of food waste has just begun to get people’s attention. Although some industry players have begun to solve it, we still need to awaken the consensus of the whole society.

One third of the world ’s food is wasted every year: not only food but also ourselves

At the seminar, Yu Xin, WWF’s Market Transformation Project Manager, delivered a keynote speech entitled “Saving 1/3: Current Status and Ways to Reduce Food Waste”. In the 1970s, this non-governmental organization founded in Switzerland in 1961 proposed the concept of “Earth Overshoot” (Earth Overshoot) , The ratio of the earth’s resources to the naturally recyclable resources of the earth that year was used to measure the degree of earth overload. The data shows that the Earth overload day in 1970 was December 23, that is, the earth’s resources were adequate. Since then, the overload date has been advanced every year, August 1, 2018, and July 29, 2019. It is expected to advance to June 30 by 2030, that is, the earth resources used by humans that year It is twice the natural renewable resources of the earth.

Earth overload day is gradually advanced, July 29, 2019

Food production is an important reason for consuming the earth’s resources, and it is bringing more and more negative effects to the overwhelmed earth. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Waste Footprint: Impact on Natural Resources report, released in 2013, is the first time the organization has discussed food waste from an environmental impact perspective. The report shows that global food production consumes 69% of the world’s fresh water and 34% of arable land, causing 30% of topsoil loss, 75% of tropical rainforest degradation and 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization found that 1/3 of food is wasted every year worldwide. Among them, the waste rate of plant roots, vegetables and fruits is the highest, reaching 45%. At the same time, 841 million people worldwide suffer from hunger, 1.9 billion people are overweight, and more than 20,000 species of pollinating insects are facing the threat of genocide due to agricultural production.

Yu Xin cited a WWF report that states that 70% of global biodiversity loss comes from food production. “We must use fewer resources to produce more food, and food use should be more efficient. “If we can avoid 1/3 of food waste every year, we can save 250 trillion liters of water. ) , saving 10,900 trillion watt-hours of energy 18.9 million square meters of forest (equivalent to the area of ​​234 million football fields) .

Globally, food waste is a serious problem. Erik Vold, a representative of Norwegian food waste research and consulting company Mattet, told the audience that in 2018 alone, 390,000 tons of food was wasted in Norway, which is equivalent to 77.4 kg of per capita waste and a total value of 2.5 billion US dollars. CO2 emissions from food waste account for about 2% of Norway ’s overall CO2 emissions. Combustion emissions account for 27%) . A related analysis found that consumer behavior is the biggest cause of food waste. , Wholesalers, restaurants and supermarkets.

As a large country with a population and market size that far exceeds that of Norway, China’s food waste situation is equally alarming. In 2018, WWF and the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly released the “Chinese Food Waste Report”. After conducting surveys in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Lhasa in 2015, researchers estimated that the amount of catering waste in Chinese cities in the year was about 1700-1800 million tons, equivalent to 3% of the national annual grain output. 33.638 million tons) was wasted. At the same time, China imported 10,000 tons of grain in 2015, with rice, wheat and corn imports exceeding 11 million tons.

Yu Xin believes that we urgently need to re-understand the issue of food waste. It is not enough to just advocate consumers to participate in the “CD-ROM action”, but how to prevent waste. “This is not something that can be solved by a single consumer or government policy. We call for linkages across the entire value chain, including business, government, logistics, education, and consumers,” she said. Resources, and ourselves. “

From supermarkets, hotels to restaurants: measures to curb food waste

People are already taking action in the face of the serious food waste problem. Norway has been working to solve the problem of food waste since 2010. From 2010 to 2015, food manufacturers, wholesalers, supermarkets and consumers reduced food waste by 12%. It is in this process that the non-profit organization Mattvett was established Already. However, this is not enough. In 2017, the Norwegian government signed an agreement with the food industry, promising to jointly tackle the issue of food waste, linking primary producers, producers, wholesalers, restaurants, supermarkets and consumers to reduce food waste throughout the food consumption value chain by 2030 50%, consistent with Article 12.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Vold pointed out that the Norwegian supermarket industry is controlled by three major groups. With their joint participation, the food waste problem in supermarkets has been alleviated. Industry experience shows that because the abundant and diverse goods are an important prerequisite for supermarkets to attract customers and ensure business success, the expiration of excess inventory is the biggest reason for supermarket food waste. Norwegian supermarkets usually use four methodsReduce food waste: sell temporary food at a discount, automatically monitor inventory, donate surplus food to food banks, and raise awareness among employees and consumers.

Vold told the audience that Norwegian supermarkets use a series of measures to guide consumers to consume food reasonably. For example, in addition to writing the shelf life on the product label, (best by ) In addition to the edible period (but often good after) , consumers are encouraged to use their own experience to judge temporary food Whether it is still edible. In addition, supermarkets have also begun to reduce the volume promotion model, encouraging consumers to purchase (such as providing small packages of bread and abandoning the “buy one get one free” promotion) ) . In these ways, the Norwegian supermarket industry reduced food waste by 16% between 2015 and 2018.

At the same time, core members of the Norwegian catering industry launched the “Span class =” text-remarks “label =” Remarks “> (Cut FoodWaste 2020) plan, proposed by 2020 The goal is to reduce food waste by 20% and mobilize 50% of industry participants to join the program. According to research data from the restaurant industry, two-thirds of food waste is caused by buffets and guest leftovers. The categories that waste the most are hot dishes, fruits and vegetables, and bread.

To this end, the catering industry has introduced various measures: cooperation with an app called “Too Good To Go” to sell the remaining food of the day at hotels and restaurants for 30 to 40% off; actively training employees, Guide consumers, increase employees and consumers ’awareness of saving food; adjust the amount of meals (a Norwegian hamburger chain has reduced the amount of fries by 50% Food waste) ; more effective use of ingredients; adjustments to the design of the buffet, such as changing smaller plates, reducing the variety of buffet dishes. According to Vold, 42% of hotels, 46% of restaurants, and 63% of canteens have already achieved the goal of reducing food waste by 20%.

The catering industry has reached a cooperation with the “Too Good To Go” APP

Chu Xueyou, vice president of a catering company, believes that the core of reducing food waste lies in the consumer, and it is the consumer’s mentality that determines the development of the catering industry. But in terms of food waste, companies themselves can also improve through lean management. In the store, the catering company has introduced a visual management system to make the remaining amount of dish sales visible in real time. These data can improve the accuracy of the estimated dishes, and the store purchases according to the estimated amount, reducing inventory waste. At the group headquarters, the company began to launch small batch processing and single-pack packaging of raw materials, optimizing operating instructions, so that chefs can master the standards for large-volume dishes and small-volume dishes.

At the same time, they set a goal of not exceeding 0.9% of sales amount of food waste, and monitoring and investigating the food waste situation of front-line employees. Chu Xueyou took the dish of “shooting cucumber” as an example. After setting the goal of reducing food waste, the company stipulated that when making this dish, the head and tail of each cucumber can only cut 1/10 of the whole cucumber, and at the same time, the astringent process is applied to the tail of the cucumber to improve the taste. In addition, the restaurant waiter guides consumers to consume reasonably during the contact with consumers, reducing waste, such as reminding consumers when the order is too large, recommending special dishes made from more dishes in the kitchen. Then remind consumers to pack the remaining food.

The Dilemma of Food Waste in China: Lack of Policies and Misplaced Consumer Concepts

As reflected in public opinion after the Hema Xiansheng incident two months ago, in China today, people ’s awareness of the issue of food waste has just begun to emerge. From the government, enterprises to public welfare organizations, consumers have many issues that need to be clarified, Much work needs to be done.

Donating surplus food to non-profit organizations such as food banks has become a common practice in developed countries. However, it was not until 2015 that China established the first food bank, the Oasis Food Bank. Li Bing, director of Shanghai Oasis Public Welfare Development Center, said that in the first year of its establishment, Oasis Food Bank only raised 20 tons of food.In 2018, it was 200 tons, but the average annual raise of a food bank in the world is 1,000 tons. At present, about 200 companies donate food to the organization, most of them are foreign-funded companies, and they already have experience in food donation abroad.

Li Bing pointed out that there are several factors in the work of the food bank. First, whether the food bank is supported by the government and legally guaranteed. “The United States has a good man law (Note: The United States passed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in 1996) guarantees Food donors will not be affected by accidental factors, but there is no (Related Laws) in China, so many companies are particularly worried about the food they donate in case What to do if there is a problem. “At the same time, China’s current food donation behavior is regarded as sales, so the tax burden will also reduce the enthusiasm of enterprises to donate food.

Box Ma Xiansheng (Image source: Visual China)

Second, whether consumers are willing to consume donated food. According to a survey by Oasis Public Welfare, even on occasions that advocate reducing food waste, half of the respondents said they are unwilling to consume temporary food. “Everyone will have a wrong understanding of the concept of shelf life. The Chinese are worried about food safety, but this problem is actually that we have inappropriate additives or cross-infection of cooked food bacteria. It is rarely said that the food is near the shelf life. It said that food waste is a problem throughout the value chain and requires systematic solutions, such as corporate participation and increased consumer awareness. In terms of the problems facing China today, she called on high-level government officials to pay attention to this issue and introduce corresponding policies and regulations.

Wei Yanfeng, founder of Nanjing Longyin Shanfang Restaurant Management Co., Ltd. also believes that the improvement of consumer perception is one of the important factors to reduce food waste. His company is based in NanjingThere are 70 stores covering various formats such as high-end restaurants, mid-range restaurants, and cafeterias. “During the operation process, we found that consumers’ awareness of food waste is very different in different price formats. Black Pearl (rated restaurant) The problem of food waste is best solved, and consumers have almost no waste—compared to shared catering, consumers will eat cleanly under divided meals. The per capita restaurant waste of more than 100 yuan is very serious. On occasion, many people feel that they will not lose face without leaving a little dish. “

In addition, the disposal of surplus food is also a more difficult and complicated issue in China. Swedish environmental science research project official Li Ran pointed out that most of China’s kitchen waste is currently disposed of in landfills. However, in Sweden, less than 1% of the kitchen waste is treated in this way. This is due to Sweden’s complete separate collection and reuse system of kitchen waste, which can be converted into biogas fuel, and the remaining residue can also be used as compost material. She said that the Swedish Academy of Environmental Sciences is currently cooperating with China to propose a systematic waste solution for China’s urban construction, and jointly promote the reuse of waste to better turn waste into energy.

This article is from WeChat public account: Interface Culture (BooksAndFun) , author: woods people