3Keel and partners at the University of Warwick are undertaking an 18 month research project to quantify the economic cost to English agriculture of crop losses in potato, lettuce and strawberry sectors. There is currently a lack of good evidence on the scale of on-farm crop losses, however the causes are known to include many complex factors, often outside the control of growers – such as unexpected changes to consumer demand and poor weather.
The research will help farmers and the wider food industry identify opportunities for reducing losses and creating a more sustainable, profitable fruit and vegetable sector. As part of the project, 3Keel and University of Warwick staff are interviewing, surveying and collecting data from a cross-section of growers.
Farming sector organisations such as LEAF are helping ensure the project meets the needs of industry through their involvement in the project steering group. Jeremy Boxall, LEAF’s Commercial Manager, said: “Tackling food loss and waste has become a major priority for the food industry and is of increasing interest to consumers and policymakers. This much-needed research will help improve our understanding of the economic cost of these losses to growers – and identify how we can tackle this complex issue together. LEAF would like to encourage growers to participate in the study and play an important role in creating a more sustainable and profitable fresh produce sector”.Image: Sharon Mollerus. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
This much-needed research will help improve our understanding of the economic cost of these losses to growers – and identify how we can tackle this complex issue together.