Quantifying Postharvest Loss and the Implication of Market-Based Decisions: A Case Study of Two Commercial Domestic Tomato Supply Chains in Queensland, Australia

McKenzie, Tara J. and Singh-Peterson, Lila ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6095-9569 and Underhill, Steven J. R. (2017) Quantifying Postharvest Loss and the Implication of Market-Based Decisions: A Case Study of Two Commercial Domestic Tomato Supply Chains in Queensland, Australia. Horticulturae, 3 (3):44. pp. 1-15.

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Abstract

Using a multi-disciplinary approach, this study quantifies horticultural postharvest losses of two medium-sized (annual pack volume 4500 t) commercial, domestic, tomato supply chains. Quantification of loss was based on weight or volume, consistent with direct measurement methods of the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard 2016 and qualitative techniques were used to identify the drivers of the loss and contextualise the findings. Postharvest loss was found to be between 40.3% (55.34 t) and 55.9% (29.61 t) of the total harvestable product. It was determined that between 68.6% and 86.7% of undamaged, edible, harvested tomatoes were rejected as outgrades and consequently discarded due to product specifications. Between 71.2% and 84.1% of produced tomatoes were left in the field and not harvested. This study highlights significant factors contributing to high levels of food loss and waste. Edible products are being removed from the commercial food supply chain, rejected as outgrades deemed cosmetically defective due to market-based decisions. With only 44.1% and 59.7% of the harvestable crop reaching the consumers of the two supply chains, respectively, it is perhaps more appropriate to describe a food 'waste' chain as opposed to a food 'supply' chain.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 02:07
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2022 01:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: Destination of loss; Food loss and waste; Food security; Horticulture; Postharvest loss; Private food policy and standards; Tomato
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0706 Horticultural Production > 070605 Post Harvest Horticultural Technologies (incl. Transportation and Storage)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3008 Horticultural production > 300806 Post harvest horticultural technologies (incl. transportation and storage)
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440799 Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8206 Harvesting and Packing of Plant Products > 820602 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Post Harvest)
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820299 Horticultural Crops not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2604 Harvesting and packaging of plant products > 260402 Fresh fruits and vegetables (post harvest)
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3030044
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/46804

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