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Pertes alimentaires dans les filières fruits, légumes et pomme de terre

  • Jeannequin, Benoit
  • Plénet, Daniel
  • Carlin, Frederic
  • Chauvin, Jean-Eric
  • Dosba, Francoise
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
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This work deals with food loss in the French production chains of fruits, vegetables and potato. The study focuses on nine products representative of the diversity of product categories, production systems and final uses. Potential losses are distributed all along the production chain, in the farmer’s field or orchard up to retail and vary according to the type of product, being comprised between 5 % and more than 20 % overall. For fruits and vegetables as a whole, food loss represents approximately 12 % of the production being ready for harvest in the field or the orchard. Three quarters of these losses are observed at the upstream stages of the chain, from harvest to marketing. These are mainly due to high sensitivity of fruits and vegetables to sanitary problems and unfavorable weather conditions, high perishability, and non-conformity to regulations or to demanding commercial specifications. Food losses at distribution stage (wholesalers and retailers) represent the remaining quarter. They are mainly due to handling of highly fragile commodities with limited shelf-live, and over-ripening problems due to inappropriate stock management. Discarded products are mostly spread on fields, and occasionally directed to anaerobic digestion units. In order to decrease food loss or make better use of it though recycling, several types of action can be considered at different steps of the production chain, with possible support from research projects and/or of public policy.

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