Food waste is a problematic that is reaching critical levels globally and should be prevented. At the speed that the world population is growing it is important that the food we produce is used in the best possible way, which in turn requires proper collaboration and communication between governments, farmers, retailers and consumers. Here are some ideas on how to prevent and reduce food waste on your farm.
3 ideas to help reduce food waste in your farm
In the United States alone, it is estimated that up to 40% of food production in the country is wasted, representing a loss of $165 billion a year, not to mention the losses of labor, energy, land and water as well as the pollution by greenhouse gas production. The question of what can you do to reduce food waste may seem too complex, but here are a few ideas for farmers to help mitigate the problem.
Understand and evaluate the market for what you can produce on your farm. Your land, your farm’s production capacity, the climate, as well as estimating supply and demand will help you determine what kind of produce is worth most your time and effort. You should also take a look at your current process and determine key areas where you can make improvements. Optimizing production, storage and distribution of your crops will help you maximize your profits and keep any surplus food to the minimum.
Find new business opportunities
You can help your finances while helping reduce food waste by finding new purposes for your unwanted product. Unfortunately, as a society we’re now accustommed to demand perfect produce and reject anything that looks “ugly”. By exploring new options such as repurposing or repackaging and selling as a different product you should be able to reduce food waste in your farm and take advantage of new business opportunities. Of course this isn’t an easy task nor one that can be accomplished in a day, but it might be more than worth it down the road. Involve your workers, family and friends and brainstorm together.
Get involved with your local community
Get involved with your local community to organize and promote activities such as farmers markets to sell your produce, and encourage and help volunteers by donating produce which otherwise would end up in the dump to relocate the food to local soup kitchens, for example.
We understand that finding ways to reduce food waste can be daunting, and even more so when you have to worry about maintaining your farm as well. But remember that even small actions like these can make a huge difference, and you don’t necessarily need to do everything on your own.
When it comes to food waste there are certainly many parties involved. We shouldn’t be wasting time trying to blame others for their responsibility, but instead we need to take action and find new ways to have a positive impact.
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