What is it about?

The highlights of this paper are: (1) Food waste in retail and wholesale stores is not only a contentious economic and environmental issue, it also an area of major ethical concern. (2) Top management only sees small single-digit numbers, but store managers struggle with large amounts of actual waste they need to dispose of each day. (3) Food waste is a phenomenon that has significant inherent sustainability potential, especially in the social domain when redistributing it to people in need.

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Why is it important?

The retail and wholesale environment is characterised by efficiency and effectiveness and it is hard to imagine, especially as a consumer, that there is a 'dark side' to the plentifulness and richness found in stores. All stakeholders in the food supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers, as well as public policy makers need to appreciate the value of food and acknowledge the 'waste' of food waste. They should actively search for and investigate ways in which food waste can be minimised and, if occurred, be managed in such a way that it benefits society.

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This page is a summary of: What a Waste! Exploring the Human Reality of Food Waste from the Store Manager's Perspective, Journal of Marketing & Public Policy, June 2016, American Marketing Association (AMA), DOI: 10.1509/jppm.14.095.
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