Food waste is a serious problem worldwide, including in Europe. Research efforts are being carried out to reduce food waste. In this paper, we focus on using modern digital technologies (also known as Industry 4.0 technologies) to reduce waste in food supply chains. Based on interactions with a number of food companies in Europe over the last four years using Action Research, we provide new insights on the motivations and challenges for food companies when they are engaged in the use of technologies for reducing food waste in their supply chains. Motivations for firms include improved food quality of their produce, improved reliability, support in meeting legal requirements, a green image, and improved revenues from selling the food that has been saved. However, data security issues and trust issues posed challenges in using these technologies. Since this is an emerging area of research, we look at potential business models for technology companies for working with food companies in reducing food waste, identify value propositions and value capture, and look at how these investments in technologies can improve the sustainability of food businesses. We believe technology companies can leverage the opportunities, develop new business models with value propositions around the use of technologies, and support food companies via timely alerts in case of potential quality issues. Value capture occurs via the sale of hardware and subscriptions.
This research was funded by Interreg North-West Europe (NWE831).
© 2023 by the authors.
- food waste
- Industry 4.0
- business models