How Technology is Eliminating Food Waste in the Supply Chain: Production
Reducing food waste is of the upmost importance as we go into the future. When considering the amount of waste generated (read more about this in our last blog post), it’s also important to realize that it’s not only food that’s being wasted. Packaging is also another element to consider. With an alarming amount of food being packaged with long lasting plastics, throwing away both food and packaging quickly turns into a sustainability nightmare.
Faced with the facts, it’s important that industry players take a look at how food is produced and reevaluate methods to ensure that the shift is being made from mass production, to smart production. Let’s look at a few practical things that modern technology can do to reduce waste in the manufacturing phase of the food supply chain.
Making sure you’re getting the most out of your production line can have the potential for big savings. ConAgra Foods saved over 300 tons of pie dough each year by reducing the amount of dough that needed to be trimmed off the pie shell. That equaled 300 tons of water, flour and other ingredients that were never used. The simple act of cutting out unnecessary ingredients can have a tremendous effect on how much is wasted on the production line.
Redistribution of Waste
Redirecting food scraps can be another way to avoid food ending up in the landfill. Scraps can be used in a variety of ways, from feeding livestock to innovative new edible packaging Solutions. The topic of packaging food with Food is gaining popularity in the industry, and an ample amount of research and development is being investing in finding ways to use food scraps to make new sustainable biological packaging solutions.
Without question, the best way to reduce food waste on the manufacturer side is by adopting an ERP system. A good ERP system allows production companies to have total visibility to every aspect of their organization. With an ERP system, it’s possible to quickly identify snags with machinery that’s malfunctioning and make quick adjustments.
An ERP system also allows for all the data across the organization to be streamlined. Having visibility to all departments at once, and having information updating in real-time, allows the entire operation to move quickly. Stock data is improved, inventory levels can be more precisely monitored, which results in less food spoilage.
Improving forecasting models are another way ERP systems can reduce waste in production. Many manufacturers waste unnecessary ingredients because of inaccurate forecasting. Over ordering raw ingredients can result in a great deal of spoiled food. Using an ERP to order more precisely on an as needed basis allows ingredients to be ordered on an as-needed basis.
From recalibrating machines, to plant based packaging, there are a number of ways in which waste can be reduced from the production line. It’s up to government and industry leaders to drive change and devise long term, sustainable solutions that support both our planet, and our Health.
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