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Current levels of food waste are abhorrent with 931 million tonnes of food wasted globally in 2019 (UNEP, 2021). Within the UK, 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away annually, accounting for 3% of national greenhouse gas emissions (WRAP, 2019, 2011). Food waste is both a consumer behaviour issue – households remain responsible for the majority of food wasted with an estimated 20 million slices of bread, 4 million potatoes and 3 million glasses worth of milk thrown away daily in the UK alone (WRAP, 2019) – as well as a structural challenge in the supply chain (Bradshaw, 2020).

Whilst great strides have been made in tackling food waste in the UK (Champions 12.3, 2021), there are still many challenges to overcome. The pandemic exposed the fragility of disrupted supply chains where waste was generated through fluctuating demand (Aday and Aday, 2020). There is a need to understand the implications of consumers’ short and longer term changing patterns of food provisioning. Furthermore, there is a need to better integrate food waste with national and international environment and climate targets (Feedback, 2020). Food waste remains an evolving crisis that can be situated as a systemic output from the current arrangement of the food system.

This track therefore welcomes submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following questions:

  • Where has food waste occurred as an outcome of the pandemic disruption and ongoing adaptive practices of organisations across the supply chain?
  • How are organisations across the supply chain adapting their practice to reduce, and more importantly mitigate, food waste in the food supply chain?
  • What are the inter-connections in how food waste is generated across the supply chain and how can mitigation strategies best engage with actors from farm to folk? How might this play out in local and regional settings?
  • How are local food markets managing food waste?/ Supply chain strategies to reduce food waste for local food systems.
  • How can prevention, over recovery and reduction, be placed at the forefront of strategies targeted at both private and public sector food operations as well as households?
  • What has been the implication of greater engagement in alternative forms of food provisioning in terms of food wastage for both households and businesses?
  • What are the food waste implications of consumer short and long term changing patterns of food provisioning, with a focus on panic/ bulk buying behaviours?