How to Prevent Bread Losses in the Baking and Confectionery Industry?—Measurement, Causes, Management and Prevention
Food losses and waste are associated with inefficient use of agricultural land, water and other resources and agricultural raw materials. Reducing the scale of food wastage is one of the most urgent challenges for food system operators, starting from agriculture to food consumption in the households. This is all the more urgent as food insecurity has deepened during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are few studies on how to reduce food losses in food processing sectors, as most researchers focus on
... the demand side of the market, especially within household consumption. To fill the knowledge gaps related to the inefficient production system in the baking and confectionery industry (BCI), research was conducted to estimate the scale of losses in BCI in Poland, determine their causes and assess the risk of their occurrence, identify retrieve points (RP) and ways of reducing and preventing losses. Two research methods were used. Quantitative data were collected using an Internet survey method on a sample of 48 bakeries. The qualitative data was provided by 5 individual in-depth interviews with experts from the surveyed industry. The results showed that the total scale of losses in Polish BCI reached 2.39% (in 2017) and 2.63% (in 2018) of the weight of manufactured products. The loss analysis was presented within respective sections of production: raw materials magazine (RMM), production section (PS), final product magazine (FPM), final product transport (FPT). The highest loss level was reported for PS—1.56% (2017), 1.85% (2018). Additionally, 12 loss risks and nine main cause categories were identified. Potential 6 retrieve points (RP) during the baking processes were indicated: making and handling intermediate products and dough; portioning and forming of dough, baking, customised packing, shipping (storage), transport by own fleet. The type of risk, the cause of losses, their consequences, and manners of preventing losses were specified for each RP. Being the first study of this kind in Poland, its results are key to build a road map for further researches focused on reduction of food losses, more sustainable management of resources in BCI. It might contribute to corporate social responsibility and value co-creation.