“We see a real opportunity around food waste”: Exploring the Relationship Between On-Farm Food Waste and Farm Characteristics

Date created: 
Organic agriculture
Sustainable agriculture
Food waste
Sustainability transitions
Farm characteristics

This research study aims to provide an understanding of on-farm food waste on conventional and organic farms. Through interviews with food producers, I addressed three research questions: 1) do organic food producers produce more or less waste than conventional food producers?, 2) do food waste management practices differ between organic and conventional food producers?, and 3) What role do producer food waste practices play in agricultural sustainability? I found no conclusive differences between organic and non-organic food producers regarding volume and management of on-farm food waste; however, I found that different farm characteristics intersect in numerous ways, resulting in a variety of impacts on on-farm food waste. Additionally, all research participants indicated that the factor most likely to encourage them to address on-farm food waste is cost savings. To fully address food waste, actions oriented towards minimizing and sustainably managing food waste must be undertaken in a collaborative manner across all stages of the food supply chain.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Sean Markey
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)