Taxonomy of antecedents of food waste – a literature review

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Food loss and waste have become a serious global issue for business and society. To reduce food loss and waste, it is important to understand in depth their antecedents behind and consequences. This paper analyses the major antecedents and consequences of food loss and waste across the supply chain from the agriculture sector (upstream) to the household sector (downstream). It reviews 300 relevant articles from peer-reviewed journals. The major outcomes of the review are a) a thorough understanding about the environmental, social and economic consequences of food loss and waste and b) the development of a taxonomy of antecedents behind food loss and waste. Four broad categories are developed by compiling all antecedents across the supply chain: infrastructure (internal and external) issues, management decisions, behavioural and demographic issues. Implications for management and future research are then proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125910
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Food waste and food loss
  • Literature review
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainability
  • Taxonomy

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