Reducing Waste in the Produce Industry
One of the biggest areas of need in food and agriculture security is reducing food waste. Jeff Mckinnon, senior vice president at TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, believes indoor farming can contribute significantly to that solution.
McKinnon… “You know, I think from a food waste perspective, no question it makes a difference. You know, you look at the shelf-life on a product, is, I think they generally stamp at 14 days. Our product last 28 days, no problem. And it’s grown in markets so we’re on shelves within a couple days versus, you know, a week from California. So I think there’s absolutely a food waste consideration here.”
And food isn’t the only thing being wasted. McKinnon points out that produce packaging could be more sustainable as well.
McKinnon… “The plastic clamshell, that’s still the bain for my existence. Like there’s better ways, there’s more sustainable ways to do that. We’ve seen them, we’ve trialed them, you know we have some in the shoot so to speak. So to me there’s a broader industry conversation here to say, let’s come up with a better way. The better way exists, we just need buy-in across consumers as well. Consumers like to pick up the clamshell and look at the bottom and shake it and kind of look 360 at the product. So you need consumers to say, I’m okay with only a little window. There’s an adoption exercise I think that has to happen all the way from the consumer through the retailer and into the producer.”
McKinnon said Europe has already transitioned to thin-filmed bags.