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An exploratory survey on household food waste in Egypt

Authors:
  • International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies

Abstract and Figures

Food security is a major concern in the developing countries, food production must increase significantly to meet future demand in a way that assures balance between the available and limited natural resources. According to the FAO roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted globally, i.e. about 1.3 billion tons per year. Food losses and waste are generated through the whole food chain. Changes in food consumption patterns in Egypt had implications also in terms of the amount of food lost and/or wasted. Unfortunately, there are few data regarding food waste in Egypt. Therefore, the current exploratory study aims to have a general overview about household food waste in Egypt. An online survey and face-to-face interviews were conducted from February to May 2015 with a random sample of 181 adult Egyptians representing about 64.6% female and 35.4% male. The majority of the respondents were young (59.1% are less than 44 years old) and have high education level. Food waste is prevalent in Egypt as just 13.8% of respondents declare that they do not throw any food. Data show that food waste increases during the fasting month of Ramadan. The most wasted food products are fruits, vegetables, cereals and bakery products. Only 21.5% of respondents declared that the economic value of food waste generated each month is more than 6US$. Most of Egyptian respondents have a good understanding of food labels that is probably due to the high education level of the sample. About 42% of respondents throw weekly at least 250 g of still consumable food. To reduce food losses and waste in Egypt it is important to set a strategy at all food chain levels. There is also an urgent need to raise people’s and organizations awareness towards this problem and further exploration on food waste at lower educational levels and poor people, which might be quite different.
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Original scientific paper
10.7251/AGSY15051298E
AN EXPLORATORY SURVEY ON HOUSEHOLD FOOD WASTE IN EGYPT
Gehan A.G. ELMENOFI1*, Roberto CAPONE2, Shereen WAKED1, Philipp DEBS2,
Francesco BOTTALICO2,3, Hamid EL BILALI2
1Agriculture Extension and Rural Development Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza, Egypt
2Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Rural Development department, International Centre for Advanced
Mediterranean Agronomic Studies of Bari (CIHEAM-Bari), Valenzano (Bari), Italy
3Parthenope University of Naples, Department of Science and Technology, Naples, Italy
*Corresponding author: g_elmenofi@yahoo.co.uk
Abstract
Food security is a major concern in the developing countries, food production must increase
significantly to meet future demand in a way that assures balance between the available and
limited natural resources. According to the FAO roughly one-third of the edible parts of food
produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted globally, i.e. about 1.3 billion tons per
year. Food losses and waste are generated through the whole food chain.
Changes in food consumption patterns in Egypt had implications also in terms of the amount
of food lost and/or wasted. Unfortunately, there are few data regarding food waste in Egypt.
Therefore, the current exploratory study aims to have a general overview about household
food waste in Egypt. An online survey and face-to-face interviews were conducted from
February to May 2015 with a random sample of 181 adult Egyptians representing about
64.6% female and 35.4% male. The majority of the respondents were young (59.1% are less
than 44 years old) and have high education level. Food waste is prevalent in Egypt as just
13.8% of respondents declare that they do not throw any food. Data show that food waste
increases during the fasting month of Ramadan. The most wasted food products are fruits,
vegetables, cereals and bakery products. Only 21.5% of respondents declared that the
economic value of food waste generated each month is more than 6US$. Most of Egyptian
respondents have a good understanding of food labels that is probably due to the high
education level of the sample. About 42% of respondents throw weekly at least 250 g of still
consumable food. To reduce food losses and waste in Egypt it is important to set a strategy at
all food chain levels. There is also an urgent need to raise people’s and organizations
awareness towards this problem and further exploration on food waste at lower educational
levels and poor people, which might be quite different.
Keywords: Household Food Waste, Behavioral Change, Survey, Egypt
Introduction
Food waste takes place at two levels; retailers and consumers (Gustavsson et al., 2011). At the
retailers’ level food is wasted due to various reasons i.e. poor storage facilities, while at the
consumers’ level it is related to purchasing behavior and attitudes, knowledge regarding
labeling information, insufficient purchasing planning. Additionally, economic, social and
environmental factors could affect food losses and waste (FLW), as small scale farmers might
lack cash to face production costs, climate change either high temperatures or freeze, or for
social reasons i.e. marriage of sons or daughters.
FAO alerted about increased rate of food losses and waste in Egypt which reaches about 50%
in vegetables and fruits, 40% in fish, 30% in milk and the amount of wheat losses and waste
reaches 1.5 million tons/per annum. Additionally, wheat, tomato and orange losses and waste
cost the government about 11 million EGP/annually, and about 650,000 tons of maize besides
350,000 tons of beet are wasted annually. Food security problem will not be solved via
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increased production only but by conserving produced food from waste and damage (Egypt
time science, 2015).
Egypt has two main sub-systems for food subsidy, first wheat flour and bread subsidy, second
ration card program which provides fixed monthly quota of some commodities. This subsidy
system suffers from increasing budget and waste, as waste occurs at different stages of bread
supply chain starting from pre-post wheat harvest, storage, transportation, conversion of
wheat to flour until consumption (Ramadan, 2014).
To authors knowledge, there are no direct policies or action plans at the government level that
deal with food waste. In the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation there is the
agricultural strategy 2030 that deals through its programs and action plans with food safety
and agriculture waste. In the Agricultural Research Centre there are some institutes that tackle
the issue of food safety within research context i.e. Food Technology Research Institute, Food
Safety Information Centre, Economic Research Institute.
Food Technology Research Institute for instance conduct applied researches in food
processing and preserving to improve the quality of food products and produce safety high
nutritional value food with affordable prices. In addition to utilization of agricultural wastes
and food processing factories wastes to reduce the pollution and to increase the economical
returns through value added food. Finally it is necessary to reduce the loss during food
processing (Food Technology Institute, 2015).
Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade provides food subsidy programs, yet no food waste
reduction programs, although there is a consumer protection agency. The ministry aims at
improving 164 wheat barns or silos “Shownaa”, in order to reduce wheat losses and waste,
recycling food oil waste, applying a system for recycling household food waste and leftovers
to fertilizers (Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, 2015). In Ministry of Industry and
Foreign Trade, there is Law No. 67 of 2006 that is concerned with consumer protection
(Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade, 2015). There was an attempt in 2011 to establish the
National Authority for Food Safety, but was not completed.
In spite of this, few NGOs initiated their own programs that care about food waste i.e.
Egyptian Food Bank (EFB) provides some schemes to feed poor people and at the same time
urged hotels and restaurants to re-use all food waste (leftovers) and re-pack it in order to be
distributed to those who suffer from food insecurity and as one of the means to reduce hunger.
EFP has three pillars to end hunger, first, anti food wastage awareness, by holding awareness
programs for individuals, hotels and restaurants in order to save the food wasted everyday
from homes or from buffets in events and occasions; second, awareness for hotels and
restaurants, EFP signed a protocol with the Egyptian Hotel Association in order to save the
excess untouched food from hotel events' buffets and restaurants by packing it in foil trays to
be distributed to the nearest NGO, elderly residence or orphanage in the area instead of
throwing it away; third, awareness for individuals, EFB directed campaigns to individuals at
their homes, to distribute the excess untouched food to the nearest needy (Egyptian Food
Bank, 2015).
Recently, there are some initiatives at individual household levels that pack any food leftovers
or waste and distribute it to poor people; also some charity religious organizations (Masjid)
that provide food in the Holy Month Ramadan to poor people as well. Additionally, an
association named “Egyptian Chefs Associationorganized with others a conference about
“The Farm to Fork” that focused on three main themes, the Farm, the Kitchen and the Fork.
Part one, the Farm, covered issues related to produce, from organic farming, to managing loss
and keeping water usage to a minimum (Egyptian Chefs Association, 2015).
Therefore the current study is a primary attempt to explore and analyze the situation of food
waste behavior and to quantify its economic value due to lack of such studies in the Middle
East and North Africa Region (MENA) and Egypt in particular.
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The present study mainly aims at evaluating the household food waste in Egypt focusing in
particular on food purchase behavior and household food expenditure estimation, knowledge
of food labeling information, attitudes towards food waste, quantity and value of food wasted,
extent of household food waste, and, finally, willingness to behavioral change for food waste
prevention and/or reduction.
Materials and Methods
In order to fulfill the current study’s objectives, literature review from various resources i.e.
reports, researches, databases were used. Additionally, a survey using a structured
questionnaire that was adapted to the Mediterranean context from previous questionnaires and
studies on food waste provided in English and Arabic languages in December 2014 and was
uploaded using social media websites i.e. Facebook and emails, and a number of
questionnaires was collected using face-to-face interviews. The questionnaire was available
online from February till the end of May 2015 and the participation was entirely volunteer.
The questionnaire consisted of 26 questions. It included a combination of one option and
multiple choice questions. It was developed into 6 sections that reflects the study’s objectives.
In the introductory part of the questionnaire the concept of food losses and waste was
introduced to inform the respondents.
From 207 questionnaires received, 26 of them were not considered because the questions
were not fully answered thus there were missing data. Therefore, the total number of the
sample is 181 adult Egyptians.
Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (e.g. means, max, min, percentages), in order
to get a general picture of frequencies of variables, using Microsoft Excel.
Results and Discussion
The study’s results provide an overview on the main characteristics of the respondents
(profile) from one hand and fulfill the objectives from another hand.
Main characteristics of respondents
The results revealed that about 64.6% of the respondents were females and about 35.4%
males, which could be attributed to the fact that most men consider food issues are part of
women’s responsibilities. Most of the respondents (33.1%) fell within the age category of 35-
44 years and 23.8% between 45 and 54. About 44.2% were MSc/PhD holders, and 34.8%
hold university degree, 17.1% technical degree. This shows that social media is accessed
mainly by educated people. Additionally, 81.8% have paid work (full time or part time), and
6.6% were retired. Half of the respondents (53.6%) are married with children and 18.8% are
partnered (sharing same household). As for household composition, the number of members
are 4-6 persons represent about 69.1% of the total sample, 24.3% whose family is composed
of 1-3 persons, this indicates that medium and big size families still dominate the Egyptians
even among educated people, who were assumed to follow family planning programs.
Food purchase behavior and household food expenditure estimation
This part tackles respondents food behavior and an estimation of their food expenditures in
order to understand their attitudes towards food. It was found that about 44.2% purchase their
food directly from open markets and 28.7% purchase from supermarkets and hypermarkets
and 23.2% purchase from mini/small markets.
In Egypt, most people buy their food from more than one place, meaning that they could buy
from open markets, weekly markets in rural areas, mini markets or super markets or from
farmers, but buying directly from farmers is not common as rural people might buy directly
from their neighbors or from the weekly village markets and in some cases city people when
travelling to other governorates might buy from road outlets or farmers selling their
production on the road.
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From once weekly to twice weekly respondents frequently purchase their food representing
about 25.4% and 26.0% respectively from the total studied respondents. Some respondents
buy everyday (17.7%) and those who buy every two days represent also 17.7%, others prefer
to buy the basics on monthly basis (6.6%). That could be attributed to poor planning when
purchasing food even if the results showed that about 44.2% of the respondents use a list prior
to purchasing food, but this could be because the nature of the respondents regarding their
education and social status (high and medium class).
Most of the Egyptians spend noticeable amount of their wages on food, this was evident by
this study and the household survey carried in Egypt by Central Agency for Public
Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). It was clear that about 71.3% of the respondents
spend more than 630 EGP on food, even it is considered as compared with high income
countries the lowest. According to CAPMAS (CAPMAS, 2014), Egyptians spend about
37.6% of their income on food and non-alcoholic beverages, of which 3.5% on bread and
cereals, 11.1% on meat, 2.3% on fish and sea food, 6.0% on dairy products, 2.7% on oils and
fats, 3.2% on fruits and finally 5.2% on vegetables.
Almost half of the respondents were attracted “sometimes” to food offers representing about
44.2% of total respondents who are attracted to special food offers which normally takes place
at super and hyper markets or by bargaining at small shops or small and weekly markets,
followed by 33.1% respondents who are attracted to such offers, even if sometimes these
offers are done on items that are almost expired, but poverty have another word and action,
and often people do not pay attention about expiry date.
Knowledge of food labeling information and attitudes towards food waste
The results show respondents knowledge about food labels which might eventually lead to
reducing food waste among consumers and the respondents attitudes towards food waste and
food habits. It was indicated that about 86.7% of the respondents understand and have
knowledge about “use by label as food must be eaten or thrown away by this date. This
result could be attributed to the educational level of the respondents. Whereas only 11%
regarded the “best before” label as food is still safe to eat after this date.
It was evident that 85.6% of the respondents do worry about food waste and they try to avoid
it and 8.3% are aware about food waste problems but have no intension to change their
current habits. About 53% of respondents indicated that they dispose “very little” amount of
uneaten food, as they try to minimize household food waste since they are worried and aware
about food waste impacts, and about 29.3% throw reasonable amount of uneaten food.
Unfortunately, respondents indicated that food waste increase in the Holy Month of Ramadan
as mentioned by 75.7% of the respondents whereas 24.3% were negative about it.
Regarding food waste management, 41.4% of the respondents give the remained food to
animals, but this happens in rural areas, as well as some urban districts were people raise
mainly poultry. 34.8% said they dispose it in the garbage.
Tracking consumers food habits could explain their attitudes towards food waste and its
quantity, in that regard the results showed that 57.5% of the respondents cook a main meal
from raw main ingredients from 3-6 times/week. About 67.4% eat a meal left over from a
previous day (less than twice/week), 50.8% eat out, this if to be true is the case in urban and
big cities, but in rural areas maybe the image is different.
Quantity and value of food wasted and extent of household food waste
This part of the results deals with the quantity and value of food wasted to help quantify the
amount and extent of food waste. The results showed that 63.5% of the respondents spend less
than 2% of their income and about 19.3% of respondents spend from 3-5% of their income on
cereals and bakery products that are wasted. Whereas 75.7% of the respondents spend less
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than 2% of their income on roots and tubers, 84% spend less than 2% of their income on
pulses and oil seeds that are wasted (table 1).
Table 1: Respondents estimation for purchased food groups wastage (in percent).
Items
Less than
2%
3 to 5%
6 to
10%
11 to
20%
Over
20%
Cereals and bakery products (bread,
rice, pasta, etc.)
63.5%
19.3%
9.9%
0.6%
6.6%
Roots and tubers (potatoes, etc.)
75.7%
14.9%
4.4%
3.3%
1.7%
Pulses and oil seeds (e.g. peas,
chickpeas, olives, sunflowers)
84.0%
11.0%
2.2%
1.1%
1.7%
Fruits
75.1%
14.9%
5.0%
1.7%
3.3%
Vegetables
65.7%
19.9%
9.9%
1.7%
2.8%
Meat and meat products
93.4%
2.8%
1.7%
1.7%
0.6%
Fish and seafood
91.2%
6.6%
1.1%
0.6%
0.6%
Milk and dairy products
81.8%
12.2%
3.3%
-
2.8%
Source: Authors' survey
As for the extent of food waste 58% of the respondents do not throw away food that is still
consumable and about 17.7% throw less than 250 gr, finally 16.6% throw between 250 and
500 gr. As for the economic value of wasted food, it was revealed that for about 78.5% of the
respondents the economic value of wasted food is less than 35 EGP (less than 5$), while for
14.9% of the respondents economic value of wasted food is between 42 and 140 EGP (6 -
20$).
It is evident that Egyptians' food purchases during Ramadan soar beyond all other monthly
consumer averages, straining the efforts of ministers concerned with supply and domestic
trade to keep up with demand. According to a recent study carried out by the National Centre
for Social and Criminal Research (NCSCR), 83 percent of Egyptian families alter their food
consumption habits during Ramadan in a way that augments their food bill for this month by
50 to 100 percent. If total annual consumer spending in Egypt comes to around LE 200
billion, LE 30 billion of this is spent in Ramadan, which is to say at a rate of LE 1 billion a
day, the bulk of which goes to food in this month of "fasting". The NCSCR study observes
that during this month
Egyptians spend 66.5% more on meat and poultry, 63% more on sweets, and 25% more on
nuts and nibbles, and they host 23% more banquets and dinner parties. The study further notes
that at least 60% of food on an average Egyptian family, and more than 75% of food in a
banquet, goes to waste, which is to say tossed into the rubbish bin, during this month.
According to statistics from the National Census Centre, in the first week of Ramadan
Egyptians consume 2.3 billion loaves of bread, 10,000 tons of fuel, 40 million chickens, 200
percent more yoghurt and ghee, and some LE 9 million worth of dried fruits, which accounts
for 35 percent of the annual trade in this festive staple (WikiIslam, 2015).
Willingness to behavioral change
This part deals with the notion of consumers’ willingness to change their behavior regarding
food waste, thus to explore first the respondents’ perception of food waste reasons. It was
evident from the results that most of respondents are familiar with such reasons, for instance
49.2% mentioned food is left in the fridge for too long time, followed by 43.1% of them that
said food expired, and 40.3% indicated food has mold.
In addition respondents listed the following reasons: food does not have a good smell or taste,
leftover, food does not look good and wrong preservation representing about 39.2%, 37.05%,
32.6%, 20.4% of the respondents, respectively. Packaging not being in proper size was at the
end of the reasons representing about 6.1%.
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Eventually, since respondents have clear vision about food waste causes or reasons, then
could be willing to reduce such waste. Though, willingness is accompanied with information,
so about 40.9% of the respondents mentioned that they will reduce food waste if the
packaging was more suitable, followed by if they were better informed about the negative
impacts of food waste on the environment, and better informed of the negative impacts of
food waste on the economy, representing 38.7% and 37.0%, respectively.
In regard of respondents willingness to reduce food wastage, results indicated that 40.9% of
the respondents have this will if the packaging of food was more suitable, 38.7% if better
informed about the negative impacts of food waste on the environment, followed by 37.0% of
the respondents who indicated they have the will if they were better informed of the negative
impacts of food waste on the economy, 23.2% if labels were more clear and finally 21.0% of
respondents mentioned their will is related to paying higher taxes on the basis of what they
throw.
Finally, as for the information needed to reduce food waste, 53.0% of the respondents said
that they need recipes with leftovers, 50.8% need tips on how to conserve food properly,
33.1% need organizations and initiatives that deal with food waste prevention and reduction,
finally 28.2% need information on the freshness of products.
Conclusion
Reducing FLW is a multi-sectorial, multi-disciplinary and multi-factorial task. It requires
networking and coordination between public institutions and private sector agencies in agro-
industries, food quality and safety, NGOs, etc. Policies and regulations are key drivers for all
actions aiming at reducing FLW but along with an effective participation and collaboration of
all previous actors (FAO, 2014). Neither coordination and collaboration among relevant
actors dealing with food losses and waste do exist, nor policies and regulations, but rather
poor initiatives and scattered efforts.
The respondents showed particular characteristics which was related to their educational and
income level. This requires to widen the scope of any coming studies to study different
categories, and governorates either Upper or Lower or even Coastal areas to see the
differences and variations when dealing with food waste. That will be through studying their
behaviors by its three components; knowledge, attitude and trend from gender perspectives
and then studying FLW that is the main cause of food insecurity in the developing countries
in general and Egypt in particular. By this way food policies that deal with losses and waste
will be formed on solid basis and upon current conditions and by the effective participation of
all actors. Finally establishing the high council for food security that combines all relevant
actors could be the key towards sustainable food systems in Egypt.
References
CAPMAS, 2014. Income, expenditure, and consumption survey, 2012/2013, vol. 3, January
2014, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Cairo, p: 101
Egyptian Chefs Association, 2015. Say No to Food Waste, http://www.egyptchefs.com,
Retrieved on July 16, 2015
Egyptian Food Bank, 2015, Pillars for ending hunger. Anti food wastage awareness,
http://www.egyptianfoodbank.com, Retrieved on July 16, 2015.
Egyptian Time Science, 2012. FAO alerts of increased food losses in Egypt and Arabian
Region, http://egypttimesciences.blogspot.com, Retrieved in June 15, 2015
FAO 2014. Reducing food losses and waste in the Near East & North Africa region, FAO
regional conference for the Near East, February 2014, FAO, Rome, Italy, p: 8.
Food Technology Institute, 2015. Objectives of the Institute. Agricultural Research Centre,
http:// www. arc.sci.eg, Retrieved on May, 10, 2015.
Sixth International Scientific Agricultural Symposium „Agrosym 2015“
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Gustavsson, J. Cederberg, C., Sonesson, U. 2011. Global food losses and waste: extent,
causes and prevention, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology and FAO, pp:
4,10,12
Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade 2015. Consumer protection agency,
http://www.mfti.gov.eg , Retrieved on July 16, 2015.
Ramadan R., 2014. Where does the Egyptian food subsidy go?, CIHEAM Watch letter no. 30,
September 2014, p: 2
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Retrieved on July, 16, 2015
Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, 2015. Monthly bulletin no. 239, April 2015, Cairo, p:
3
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... Reducing food loss and waste is an interdisciplinary and multi-sector task that needs to be studied from different perspectives [9][10][11]. According to Parfitt et al. (2010) [12], an investigation of individual attitudes, values, and motivations behind food waste would be of significant interest and importance. ...
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Food waste is an important sustainability issue that needs to be addressed. Consumer behaviour is one of the biggest sources of food waste in developed countries. To successfully reduce consumer-related food waste, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of its major root causes at the level of the individual. The present manuscript presents the results of an exploratory on-line survey that was made available through Google Drive and conducted among a representative sample of 1058 Italian individuals. The information contained in the questionnaire related to the characteristics of the individual respondents, their attitudes to expenditure and food, and their opinions of measures to reduce or prevent food waste. Data analysis was conducted in three phases. The first phase allowed for the identification, with the application of descriptive statistics, of the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and why, what, and how much they wasted. In the second phase, linear regression analysis and causal maps were used to both measure the statistical dependence between variables and to identify the main root causes of food waste in the phase of individual consumption. As expected, the perceived quantity of food waste that was declared by respondents was very low. Among the major root causes identified, the socio-demographic characteristics of consumers, types of food shopping purchases, and consumer behaviour played a key role. A causal map was drawn, which offers an immediate vision of the major root causes and can be a useful tool for policymakers who intend to introduce measures to combat food waste. Finally, participants' responses showed that the main initiatives needed to eliminate waste are the separate collection and dissemination of more information on the impact that waste has on the environment. For these reasons, information and education policies are crucial for changing consumer lifestyles and raising awareness of the value of food.
... The Department of Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Rural Development of CIHEAM-Bari undertook -in collaboration with many research institutions in Mediterranean and Arab countries -an online survey to assess the knowledge and relative importance of FW in Mediterranean countries. The tool used to conduct the food waste exploratory survey was a self-administered questionnaire [25], [26]. It was designed and developed in English, French and Arabic languages in December 2014 and made available from January till the end of May 2015 through the Survio website. ...
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Losses and waste of food are high in Arab countries with negative implications in terms of food security and agro-food system sustainability. Cereals are among the most important contributors to caloric energy supply in Arab countries. Despite the fact that Arab countries are net cereal importers they waste considerable amounts of bread. The objective of the paper is to explore the issue of bread and bakery products wastage in selected Mediterranean Arab countries. The paper is based on a literature review as well as an online exploratory survey on household food waste in Mediterranean countries carried out in the period January-May 2015 with 1122 adult consumers in Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. Cereals consumption is high in all concerned countries. Wheat is the most consumed cereal in the region and often as bread. Survey results show that cereals and bakery products, mainly bread, are among the most wasted food groups. Bakery products waste reach up to 20% in some surveyed households. Bread wastage is higher during the fasting month of Ramadan. Subsidized bread is used even as animal or fish feedstuff. Bread waste can be presented as a scandal in the Arab world as bread has a prominent place in Arab culture. Therefore, urgent actions are needed to raise the awareness of Arab consumers about this phenomenon. Cultural background should be exploited in awareness campaigns. Moreover, governments should speed up food support policy reform. In fact, bread waste is also wastage of precious public financial resources.
Article
Purpose This study aims to identify and analyse the interactions among drivers of anti-food waste behaviour at the consumer level. By understanding the mutual interactions among the drivers, an effort is made to identify the most driving and most dependent drivers through the total interpretive structural modelling (TISM) approach. Modelling offers inputs to propose focused interventions for reinforcing the identified drivers of anti-food waste consumer behaviour using the theoretical lens of social practices theory. Design/methodology/approach A proposed model of factors affecting anti-food waste behaviour is arrived at to suggest the most effective anti-food waste behavioural interventions. The factors were identified through an extensive literature search. A hierarchical structure of identified factors has been developed using TISM and MICMAC analysis through expert opinion. Focused marketing strategies towards promoting the identified factors for encouraging anti-food waste behaviour were suggested further. Findings This study identifies nine drivers based on extensive literature review, brainstorming and expert opinion. The TISM hierarchical model portrays the most important and least important drivers of household anti-food waste behaviour. It establishes that fundamental knowledge and socio-cultural norms are the most critical factors to drive the consumers. Marketers can focus on designing effective interventions to enhance the essential knowledge of the consumers and orient the socio-cultural norms towards anti-food waste behaviour. Practical implications This study offers implications for practitioners, policymakers and cause-driven marketing campaigns targeting anti-food waste behaviour. It provides an indicative list of critical factors relevant to household food waste behaviour, which can be used to drive effective marketing campaigns to nudge anti-food waste behaviours. Originality/value The proposed food waste behaviour management model was developed through modelling technique (TISM) and Cross-Impact Matrix Multiplication Applied to Classification (MICMAC) analysis, and relating them to marketing interventions is a novel effort in the food waste domain.
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The Serbian government has taken several measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures may have led to a disruption of daily life and affected food-related behaviors. This paper investigates the state of food waste management in Serbia and COVID-19’s direct effect on consumer awareness, food consumption, and food waste behaviors. The study is based on an online survey using a structured questionnaire administered in Serbian from May 13 until June 13, 2020, through the Google forms platform. A total of 1212 valid answers were collected, mainly from female, young, and high-educated people. The survey results suggested that (i) household food waste in Serbia is low and there is a positive attitude toward food waste prevention; (ii) food waste increased during the COVID-19 pandemic; (iii) consumers reduced the number of shopping trips and shopped more than usual during the pandemic. This study contributes to a better understanding of consumers’ consumption habits and attitudes toward food waste to prevent and reduce it.
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Reducing food waste is a thought-provoking topic globally. There is considerably weak data in the field of consumer attitudes to food waste. Hence, urgent actions need to be done to significantly reduce the current volume of generated food waste in households. The purpose of this study is to investigate Macedonians’ attitudes toward food waste behaviour. Our focus is to investigate the relationship between household income and food loss and waste among consumers. Moreover, the study aims to reveal household practices, buying habits and the main reasons for turning food into waste. To do so, 289 consumers of North Macedonia completed an online survey. Results show that food waste occurs by the influence of purchasing patterns, but also by environmental awareness of consumers.
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Food loss and food waste are recognized as two of the most challenging dilemmas facing the world today with serious repercussions on food security, the environment, and global as well as regional and national economies. This is not different in the Arab countries where the food loss and food waste generated per person sometimes exceeds 210 kg per year. Literature searches indicate there is a paucity of applied studies that investigate the drivers, sources, management, quantification, policies, interventions, and initiatives to reduce food loss and food waste in the Arab world, a region with more than 400 million inhabitants. Despite the importance of the topic, only twenty-five relevant articles were identified, providing limited data on food loss and food waste generation. The studies also use sampling procedures that do not allow for generalization of results over the Arab region or even for making comparisons among studies. The review concludes that further research on food loss and food waste along the food supply chain in the Arab world is necessary with a focus on trends, causes, and social, technological, behavioral, attitudinal, and cultural drivers. Investigating environmental and economic implications along with policy development and coping strategies, as well as consumer attitudes towards waste in general and food waste in particular are also important topics to be researched, especially given the variation in cultural and religious practices across the Arab world. The generation of such information and knowledge is indispensable for taking remedial action towards mitigating the problem of food loss and food waste.
Income, expenditure, and consumption survey
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