Food loss and waste is becoming one of the ultimate food system challenges and, therefore, is a topic of growing interest worldwide. Many approaches and methods have been suggested to prevent or reduce food loss and waste. This paper describes an approach to monitor and prevent or reduce food loss and waste by using a food chain transparency framework. Food chain transparency requires a comprehensive and integrated farm-to-table approach; it implies that all stakeholders (the producer, processor, transporter, vendor, and consumer) play a vital role in ensuring the reduction of loss and waste. Essential information in a food supply chain needs to be adequately recorded and provided for all stakeholders in the chain to promote transparency and to enable the surveillance of food loss and waste. With this systemized transparency, each of stakeholders in food production and consumption understands the relevant aspects of products, processes, and process environments supporting well-informed decision-making. The need for food chain transparency is very critical, particularly because food is a very vulnerable to depreciation of quality and quantity if not well taken care of. This paper addresses the motivation, problems and complexities; current state of the art; application practices; research needs; and the future research framework and initiatives in food chain transparency. Our research on a cattle identification and registration system and traceability systems for the production chains of frozen loin tuna and frozen shrimp in the digital business system is discussed to provide more insights on the state of the art and examples of implementation of food chain transparency systems.
2016 by Agricultural and Forestry Research Center, University of Tsukuba