New PCFWC Case Studies Show Value of Whole Chain Collaboration


New PCFWC Case Studies Show Value of Whole Chain Collaboration

February 29, 2024

Last week, the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) published two case studies that detail the process and results of an intervention project that examined the food loss and waste generated by the production of two different foods – fresh strawberries and frozen potatoes – from farm to retail. This intervention project – known as the group’s “Whole Chain” project – is the first of its kind in the United States, having been modeled on intervention projects carried out by WRAP in the United Kingdom.

The PCFWC – initially started as a working group of the Pacific Coast Collaborative – is a voluntary agreement between jurisdictions and food businesses on the West Coast of North America. Since 2021, the initiative has collected food waste data from participating signatories and has led intervention projects across the region, detailing the results of those projects in twelve case studies. ReFED has served as a resource partner for these efforts, along with WWF, WRAP, and Cascadia Policy Solutions.

According to ReFED’s latest estimates, 93% of greenhouse gas emissions that come from food surplus are generated from upstream sources – production, processing, transportation, storage, and preparation. This means that preventing food from becoming waste in the first place is the most effective way to reduce food waste. The whole chain approach employed in these intervention projects examined the causes and consequences of food loss and waste generated at each point in the supply chain, providing comprehensive data that will prove foundational to waste reduction programs in the future.

With the results of these case studies come a number of recommendations and next steps. While the specifics of these recommendations are related to the food product examined in each case study, many of them can be applied to any product in order to recapture value at various points in the supply chain.

To learn more about strawberry food loss and waste, read here.

To learn more about frozen potato food loss and waste, read here.

To follow the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment on LinkedIn, click here

ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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