An exploratory study of food waste management practices in the UK grocery retail sector.

Filimonau, V. and Gherbin, A., 2017. An exploratory study of food waste management practices in the UK grocery retail sector. Journal of cleaner production. (In Press)

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Abstract

The grocery retail sector produces substantial amounts of food waste. Despite the growing public recognition of its negative socio-economic and environmental implications, the issue has been under-researched. In addition to a small number of studies, the focus has been on the quantification and characterisation of food waste streams in grocery retail. Little attention has been drawn to the managerial attitudes and approaches to food waste mitigation. Managerial research is critical to aid in understanding how the issue of food waste is tackled on the ground. This paper plugs this knowledge gap by investigating how managers of major UK grocery retailers address the problem of food waste in their day-to-day operations. It adopts content analysis of corporate materials and a qualitative method of primary data collection and analysis to explore managerial attitudes and approaches to food waste mitigation in supermarkets of the South East Dorset conurbation (UK). The study demonstrates that, although the problem of food waste is recognised by UK grocery retailers, it is not seen as being of critical importance. In mitigation terms, while food waste recycling and price reductions are mainstream, food donations are ad-hoc and largely occur at managerial discretion. Poor consumer awareness, imperfect regulation, inflexible corporate polices and limited control over suppliers hamper more active involvement in food waste mitigation. Based on findings, policy-making and managerial recommendations on how to optimise food waste management practices in the UK grocery retail sector are revealed.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0959-6526
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food waste; Grocery retail; Managerial practices; Supermarket; UK; Dorset
Group:Faculty of Management
ID Code:29570
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:09 Aug 2017 11:57
Last Modified:09 Aug 2017 11:57

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