Food waste challenges at downstream interfaces: a triple bottom line dilemma

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This article focuses on the ongoing challenge of reduction of food waste at three downstream interfaces and food waste impact on triple bottom line dimensions: environmental, social (including ethical) and economic. The interplay between downstream interfaces (consumers-retailers; consumers-food service businesses; consumers-households) of food supply chain and areas of food waste accumulation is discussed in the article. The findings are based on a two-step method: first, a systematic literature review of the published studies on food waste between 2008 and 2020, and second, theme development to understand food waste at the three interfaces and to develop propositions for future research. The propositions are strategic interventions to provide managerial recommendations for food waste reduction involving downstream food supply chain stakeholders. The findings highlight the conundrum of balancing conflicting stakeholder perspectives within triple bottom line dimensions to tackle food waste: economic and social dimensions of triple bottom line take priority over the environmental dimension. Testing the propositions as part of future research will help to further streamline the policy recommendations to reduce food waste at the downstream part of the supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-343
Number of pages30
JournalAustralasian Journal of Environmental Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • downstream food supply chain
  • Food waste
  • interface
  • stakeholders’ perspectives
  • triple bottom line

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