Food Waste Collaboration Maturity Model: collaborate to reduce food waste


ECR and training director GS1, Italy


ECR Community Shrink & On Shelf Availability Group – work group created by the most important European retailers that has been working on issues concerning the best product shelf availability and loss of products due to theft, damage and stock differences  – has created the Food Waste Collaboration Maturity Model, a solution dedicated to the entire supply chain; to improve the product’s shelf availability, especially for fresh foods, helping distributors and producers assess their capacity to collaborate to reduce food waste, improving customer satisfaction.

ECR Community Shrink & OSA Group, set up in 1999 to respond to needs shared by all retailers to “Sell more, waste less”, belongs to the ECR Community network, collaborating with similar organisations in the USA and Australia. It includes 10 national work groups from as many European countries which work closely with the Paris Consumer Goods Forum on food waste related matters.

According to data circulated by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) (1) waste concerns one third of food produced in the world, about 1.3 billion tons/year. About 50% of this waste could potentially be recovered in a targeted way along the entire supply chain.

In particular, the causes for the greatest waste attributable to distribution include interruptions in the cold chain, damage to packaging during logistics, overstocking generated by inaccurate orders, purchase of a wide range of products from a single company to obtain price benefits without adequate sale returns.

There are three strategic levers which, suitably redesigned, could significantly reduce food waste: action on products in assortment, innovation and packaging terms, to pro ...