Food Waste Solutions in a Developing Country: A Multiple Case Study With Brazilian Companies

Food Waste Solutions in a Developing Country: A Multiple Case Study With Brazilian Companies

Daniele Eckert Matzembacher, Natália Rohenkohl do Canto, Isadora do Carmo Stangherlin, Ana Paula Ferreira Alves, Marcia Dutra de Barcellos
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2020100103
(Individual Articles)
No Current Special Offers


The importance of integrating sustainability in businesses practices has gained increasing attention in the food sector. Important sustainable initiatives in this sector refer to food waste solutions. Food waste is defined as food intended to feed humans, but used in another way. This study aims to analyze food waste solutions developed by Brazilian companies. Through a multiple case study, three cases were analyzed. Results indicate that food waste solutions are incorporated mainly in collaboration and expansion, product, unit, and price-related categories. The study contributes by examining initiatives with different actors than retailers and within the context of a developing country, finding synergies and divergences with previous studies. In addition, new food waste solutions categories emerged and complement the analysis.
Article Preview


Currently, special attention is given to the topics of food loss and waste (Aschemann-Witzel, de Hooge, Amani, Bech-Larsen, & Oostindjer, 2015). This happens especially due to the major impacts on economic and environmental issues, since the loss and waste of food affect the ability to achieve food security, environmental sustainability, and farm-financial security (Richards & Hamilton, 2018).

It is estimated that food losses and waste account for one-third of the food produced in the world, what represents about 1.3 billion food tons (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], 2013). The wastage occurs along the supply chain, reaching production, handling, storage, processing, distribution, marketing, and consumption stages (Lipinski et al., 2013). As a consequence, resources such as land, energy, fresh water, and agricultural inputs are also wasted (Beretta, Stoessel, Baier, & Hellweg, 2013). Additionally, the environment is damaged due to the increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Dorward, 2012) and methane (Graham-Rowe, Jessop, & Sparks, 2014) from decomposition in landfills. Food waste and loss are also considered a social issue (Salhofer, Obersteiner, Schneider, & Lebersorger, 2008), since the food wasted could be used to combat hunger and/or malnutrition (Aschemann-Witzel, de Hooge, & Normann, 2016; Beretta, Stoessel, Baier, & Hellweg., 2013). Thus, it is clear that negative environmental and social impacts from food systems could be minimized by reducing food loss and waste.

Food waste prevention, valorization, and management can save economic resources, reduce costs, improve food security, and minimize negative social and environmental impacts (Richards & Hamilton, 2018; Sakaguchi, Pak & Potts, 2018; Thyberg & Tonjes, 2016), contributing to the creation of sustainable food systems (De Menna, et al., 2018; Göbel, Langen, Blumenthal, Teitscheid, & Ritter, 2015; Lipinski et al., 2013). In this context, researches related to food waste reduction at supply chain and consumer level should be explored (Aschemann-Witzel, de Hooge, Rohm et al., 2016), not only in industrialized countries, but also in emerging ones, such as Brazil (Aschemann-Witzel, Giménez & Ares, 2018; Henz & Porpino, 2017; Porpino, 2016). BRICS countries are going through many changes, as an increase in urbanization and a dietary transition, existing evidences that these countries might soon present a similar behavior to industrialized ones (Parfitt et al., 2010). Consequently, new solutions are needed. Even though many programs exist to reduce the food waste, these strategies remain poorly understood, especially in emerging countries (Aschemann-Witzel, Giménez & Ares, 2018; Henz & Porpino, 2017; Sakaguchi, Pak & Potts, 2018). Recent studies analyzed food waste mitigation in Brazil. Aschemann-Witzel et al. (2016) identified only food banks as waste reduction solutions. Henz and Porpino (2017), in addition to food banks, identified the emergence of governmental food security policies, of popular restaurants and international movements, which are having a positive impact in reducing food loss and waste in Brazil.

Thus, this study meets the need to investigate food loss and waste initiatives in the Brazilian reality (Henz & Porpino, 2017), presenting unexplored solutions in this context. The main purpose is to analyze food waste solutions developed by Brazilian companies. In order to do so, the categories proposed by Kulikovskaja and Aschemann-Witzel (2017) are investigated. These categories were explored by the above-mentioned authors, according to food waste solutions of Danish retailers. The present study contributes by examining the same categories with different chain actors and in the context of a developing country.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Volume 15: 1 Issue (2024)
Volume 14: 1 Issue (2023)
Volume 13: 9 Issues (2022)
Volume 12: 4 Issues (2021)
Volume 11: 4 Issues (2020)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (2019)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (2018)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2010)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing