Exploring Post Harvest Loss from a Buyers Perspective

C.D. Glen from Rockefeller Foundation and Katarina Kehlmann from Technoserve discussed the opportunities that exist for lead firms to engage in post harvest loss reduction to increase supply, decrease repetitional risk, and deliver livelihood benefits in smallholder supply chains. They also highlighted potential areas of collaboration in sourcing regions.

The 3 common agricultural leverage point to address the challenge of feeding the world have been:

  • Increase productivity (lots of movement around this) (95% of all ag spending is going to productivity)
  • Increase production land use
    • available arable land challenge and deforestation concerns.
  • Reducing post harvest loss and waste
    • 30-50% food loss occurring in various chains.
    • Only 5% of ag investment right now to address this

If we reduce post harvest loss:

  • We could increase incomes of smallholders up to 15%
  • 6B people could be fed
  • Increase land use efficiency: 25% of water and 20% of land area is used for food that is lost

Loss reducing Strategies:

  • Create Awareness
  • Access to markets, technology,
    • Don’t need new technology need to make existing tech accessible
  • Affordability– drive down costs, make it more affordable
  • Adoption- what do people want? What are they wiling to invest in?

Loss reducing activities:

  • Increase number and type of market linkages
  • Technologies
  • Training on tech and GAP adoption
  • Aggregation
  • Access to finance

Buyer Value Proposition as seen by participants:

  • Help companies achieve inclusive business objectives with dollar figure attached (true value). Also license to operate.
  • Increased efficiencies

Remaining questions and concerns:

  • Where and what are the most impactful loss reducing interventions?
  • When do we invest in loss reduction versus productivity increases is it either/or or both/and?
  • Should we “chase the waste” and only invest in these activities in high waste chains?
  • How do we bring food loss together into an integrated value chain approach so it isn’t an add-on issue?
  • How can we shape the language around loss to align with business language around efficiency?
  • Can we model an ROI for investment in food loss interventions?
Postharvest-Loss-300x228

Sustainable Food Lab

Other Articles

Sustainable Food Lab

Partner With Us

As a partner with Sustainable Food Lab, you will be part of a network of global thought leaders from diverse organizations committed to making impactful changes in the food system.
Learn more

Sustainable Food Lab Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates when you subscribe to the Sustainable Food Lab Newsletter.

Newsletter Form

We promise not to spam, ever.