Over $3.54bn worth of food wasted annually in UAE

Nearly 3.27 million tonnes of food produced and imported in the UAE is wasted every year

Image for illustrative purposes
Image for illustrative purposes

It is estimated that nearly 3.27 million tonnes of food, worth more than US $3.54 billion (AED 13 billion) produced and imported in the UAE is wasted every year, according to Massar Solutions, a vehicle rental, fleet and supply chain company.

According to a study by the United Nations, 32.7% of food produced globally is wasted each year. With over 10 million tonnes of food being mobilised within the UAE per year, including imports and local production, it is estimated that 3.27 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UAE, enough to fill 136,250 trucks.

Massar further estimates that a truck load of food is worth on average $27,225 (AED 100,000), meaning that the annual cost of food waste in the UAE is $3.7 billion.

Massar supply chain solutions general manager Brent Melvin said: "The figures speak for themselves, and highlight the need for the industry to look at responsibly reducing food waste throughout the supply chain process. Although some element of waste cannot be prevented, reducing its scale will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits."

He added: "F&B fleet operators play a critical role here, just as much as production and distribution companies. We have some of the best transport infrastructure in the UAE. However, there is an urgent need to increase the level of efficiency of F&B fleets and logistics operations. This can be achieved by adopting innovative solutions and technologies that can help ensure the quality of food is maintained right up to final delivery.

“Around 5% of the food loss can be reduced through intelligent logistics, which includes real-time checks and proper drivers training."

According to recent findings, between 20-30% of the trucks and delivery wagons supplying food stuff need to be equipped with the telematics technology.

“Real-time information is the real deal in managing F&B fleets efficiently,” said Melvin.

Data on temperature deviations during transit can only be retrieved at the end of a transport leg, by which time the cargo may have been subjected to temperature fluctuations resulting in wastage. Telematics can alert management and drivers immediately when the temperature in the trailer is too low or too high so that they can address the issue then and there.”

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