Food Waste Innovations is supporting SME food manufacturing businesses to carry out assessments of waste arisings and review opportunities to reduce food waste and costs.

Key Facts

    • Food waste audit carried out of both the bakery and on site café
    • Action developed for the business to reduce their food waste and save costs
    • Audit conducted on suitable software for inventory stock management and demand forecasting

Impact of our research

The annual financial loss associated with food waste from food manufacturers is around £1.2 billion with an annual environmental impact of 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Food waste from food manufacturers is approximately 17% of the UK’s food waste share of the supply chain; of which 96% are small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) and one third of the SMEs are manufacturers of bakery goods. Notably around 51% of the food waste generated from food manufacturers is avoidable.

"The main advantages for us were changing the quantities of tuna prepared - we now use small tins instead of large packs. Also we ask customers if they would like coleslaw / side salad as an option rather than just include it." said Suzy Van Rooyen, CEO of The Good Loaf.





Why the research was commissioned

A Food Waste Innovations project was carried out in a small food business consisting of a bakery and café in Northampton. The project involved conducting a waste audit to assess food waste hotspots and current practices within the business, and to examine the current challenges and opportunities around food waste, including options for reducing waste over the short and long-term.

As an added objective, the project carried out a review of existing software tools to support the business in evaluating their approach to inventory stock management and demand forecasting.

Why Cranfield?

Food Waste Innovations is a project within the IMAGE (Innovation in Manufacturing, Aerospace and Green Economy) programme that is supporting small to medium sized food manufacturing businesses (SMEs) to carry out assessments of waste arisings and review opportunities to reduce food waste and save costs.

The IMAGE programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is offering funding opportunities for SME businesses to work with universities and tap into their leading expertise. IMAGE is led by Cranfield University in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire.