The Dynamics of Food Waste in Relation to Consumption, Production, and Shopping Patterns

Elif Cansu Akoguz, Nefel Tellioglu, Yaman Barlas
Bogazici University Department of Industrial Engineering Bebek, Istanbul, 34342, Turkey


The food waste problem has become a global concern in recent years due to its severe implications in terms of environment, economy and food security. In order to understand the dynamics of this problem, particularly in the retail market and household consumption stages, we modeled of food chain system and examined the dynamic relations between the market share of local food and food waste levels. We simulated the model for 25 years starting from year 2015 and analyzed several scenarios where the global supplier implements price-cutting strategies of various levels. Our key finding is that while the reinforcing capacity growth loop of the local supplier can overcome moderate price-cutting by global supplier, a strong enough price-cutting strategy can suppress the reinforcing loop completely. In cases where price-cutting measures are taken with a certain delay, the model reaches a state of sustained oscillations, since the counteracting loops alternately suppress each other. In another scenario analysis, we introduce a new reinforcing loop between shopping period and average distance to the closest supermarket. We discover that this new loop does not have much effect on the local food market share, yet it leads to much lower percentages of food waste.  

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