How to decrease waste in your food company
Food waste is a shame - both for the climate and your economy.
Regardless if the food waste is caused by an error on the label, a broken package, or a date overdue, it is expensive and a shame to discard food.
There is much you can do to save time, money, and trouble in your food company.
We’ll guide you through the key points.
You’re the expert
Food companies have a particular role in fighting food waste.
You - the one’s trading and producing food - are the experts in finding solutions to reduce waste in your production.
You can save a lot of money by avoiding waste through prevention, adjustment, and overview.
Have a look at how tracezilla can help you keep your inventory up to date.
Locate your waste
If you want to reduce your food waste, you need to know where and when the food waste occurs.
The most effective way to detect food waste in your company is to define whether the food waste occurs in the inventory or when producing.
In the inventory food waste often occurs if you’re not up to date with your inventory. You might buy more than you use and then forget the eldest goods.
In your production, you might experience that your raw materials are turned into waste in the pots and pipes of your machine.
No matter if the waste occurs in the inventory or the production, you’re not able to reduce it before you know where it is.
So pull out your magnifying glass and a great deal of curiosity and let’s get on with the detective work.
We’ll start with key points for food waste in the inventory.
1: Keep up to date with inventory
One of the major causes of food waste is good getting too old in the inventory.
And it truly can be a challenge to keep track of. Good inventory management requires an overview of your inventory. You can do that in a spreadsheet or an inventory management system.
When picking from your inventory we recommend using the FEFO-method - First Expired - First Out. This means use the materials which have the shortest date of expiry.
This provides an overview of your inventory, so you’ll notice the goods that will otherwise be expired.
In that way, you can use the raw materials close to expiry in your production, reduce the price, or donate the goods to charity to avoid food waste.
2: Does your purchase match your production and sale?
Do you have more goods in stock that you use?
Then it might be time to adjust your purchases. You can do that by determining your sale in previous periods and look at tendencies in specific periods.
Then estimate your expected sale in the coming period and use it to plan your purchases and your production.
With good planning, you’ll avoid food waste in your inventory.
See how tracezilla can help your food company.
If you’re still reading, you probably have some food waste, you want to control.
Well done keeping up with these tips.
Let’s get you onward with our points on how to avoid food waste in production.
3: Waste in production
A part of your earnings may disappear right in the middle of your production without you noticing it.
To reduce waste, you need clarity of exactly where and when the food waste appears.
This is how you do it:
- Find deviations in expected and actual consumption: Note your consumption of one or two goods systematically over a period relevant for your company. Compare to your expected consumption.
- Find the cause: Are there any deviations for a given product in each period. It makes good sense to investigate where the waste appears. Are raw materials left in the package? Is there always waste when changing machines? Or is part of your production stuck in the pipes, pots, and machines?
- Adjust if you can: You now hold valuable knowledge about where and how your waste occurs. The question is - can you do anything about it? Or is it a premise for your production? If you can change it, you should. If you can’t and there still are major deviations between expected and actual output, it’s time to adjust the expectations. In that way, you can count on when and where you earn money.
4: Control the quality
Do you experience waste due to spoiled goods, wrong labeling, or goods that do not comply with quality standards?
It sucks, right?
Producing goods that do not comply with standards is obviously a waste.
But it’s also a good occasion to check the cause of the error and prevent it from happening again.
You can do that by evaluating the workflow of your business and how they are met.
Detecting the error and compile a new workflow is by far the cheapest solution in the long run.
5: Use or sell residues
Not many industrial companies have noticed that there can be considerable economic gain in considering how they produce their materials.
The food industry is one of the industries where there is the most to gain in controlling production. Even though it might feel like a larger maneuver it might pay back not to leave any stone unturned when checking your productionworkflow.
If there are any by-products you can use in other goods or advantageously can be sold to others to convert?
6: Donate rather than discarding
If you’ve done all you can to sell or use your goods, you might consider donating your surplus goods to charity.
It’s all win-win.
Your goods will do good in the re-distribution and you’ll save time. If you’re lucky the goods will be picked up at your door.
See donation guidelines in the EU
These were the six take-away on how to reduce food waste in your food company. We hope you can use it.
Are you curious about how tracezilla can help you in your food business?
Try it out. It’s free to try.