$3.5B worth of food wasted every year in UAE supply chain

Published May 12th, 2015 - 06:11 GMT

Nearly 3.27 million tonnes of food, worth more than Dh13 billion ($3.5 billion), produced and imported in the UAE is being wasted every year, according to Massar Solutions, a market leader in vehicle rental, fleet and supply chain solutions.

The figures were released in light of the growing efforts around reducing food wastage to help resolve many of the sustainability challenges faced by the food industry.

According to a study by the United Nations, about 32.7 per cent of food produced globally has been wasted each year.

The firm further estimated that a truck load of food is worth on average Dh100,000, meaning that the annual cost of food waste in the UAE is a staggering Dh13.6 billion.

Brent Melvin, general manager of Supply Chain Solutions, said: “The figures speak for themselves, and highlight the need for the industry to look at responsibly reducing food waste throughout the supply chain process.

“Although some element of waste cannot be prevented, reducing its scale will deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits.”

“F&B fleet operators play a critical role here, just as much as production and distribution companies. We have some of the best transport infrastructure in the UAE. However, there is an urgent need to increase the level of efficiency of F&B fleets and logistics operations. This can be achieved by adopting innovative solutions and technologies that can help ensure the quality of food is maintained right up to final delivery,” said Melvin.  

“Around five per cent of the food loss can be reduced through intelligent logistics, which includes real-time checks and proper drivers training,” he added.

Last month, Massar acquired 20 Gorica designed Krone Reefer Body Semi Trailers in a move to modernise its growing supply chain business. The 15-metre long semi-trailers feature a state-of-the-art telematic system that allows Massar and its customers to gain deeper insight and visibility into fleet operations.

It includes engine and driver performance, trailer temperature and payload condition, door openings, tyre pressure, travel time, and route progress.  In case of irregularities, fluctuations or unexpected events, an immediate alert is sent directly to the user’s PC via SMS, e-mail, or a popup window.

According to recent findings, between 20 to 30 per cent of the trucks and delivery wagons supplying food stuff are needed to be equipped with the telematics technology.

“Real-time information is the real deal in managing F&B fleets efficiently,” Melvin explained.

“Data on temperature deviations during transit can only be retrieved at the end of a transport leg, by which time the cargo may have been subjected to temperature fluctuations resulting in wastage.  Telematics can alert management and drivers immediately when the temperature in the trailer is too low or too high so that they can address the issue then and there,” he added.

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