PAULIG AND THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI LAUNCH A UNIQUE BASELINE STUDY: AIM TO REDUCE FOOD LOSS IN PAULIG’S VALUE CHAIN
Paulig, an international food and beverage company, and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) at the University of Helsinki, will launch a baseline study to research food loss in Paulig’s raw material supply chain. The aim of the research is to ascertain the current state of food loss at upstream stages and find new ways to reduce food loss in the raw material supply chain.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that one third of all food produced goes to waste globally. As part of its sustainability approach and climate action Paulig supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030, and wants to be active in solving this global issue.
“Food loss and waste is generated at every stage of the food value chain. This collaboration focuses on the upstream stages of the value chain. We want to understand which product categories and raw materials generate the biggest impact and find out what mitigation possibilities we have in the raw material origin countries”, says Lea Rankinen, Paulig’s Sustainability and Public Affairs Director.
“With this collaboration, we are able to produce new internationally peer-reviewed information. We will investigate where most of the food loss is generated in the upstream of the value chain. This study ordered by Paulig will benefit all food producers as the results will be publicly available”, says associate professor and director of the project Hanna Tuomisto. She continues: “This joint study is very interesting from the academic point of view because we have not conducted any equivalent wide studies on food loss before.”
The results will be ready by autumn 2021 and they will enable Paulig to make science-based decisions on needed measures for each raw material.
Paulig is constantly developing its operations and seeking innovative solutions
Approximately 70% of the total generated waste in Paulig’s own operations is food-related (about 9,100 tons), mainly non-marketable and by-products deriving from the production, and 99.5% of it is recycled as animal feed, composted or used for biogas production.
Paulig is constantly developing its operations and seeking new innovative solutions to reduce food loss and waste from its own operations. For example, nearly all food waste from tortilla production is used as animal feed, and coffee-related food waste is used for biogas production or otherwise recycled. At the tortilla factories in Belgium and in the UK, the company has reduced food loss by utilising a share of the tortilla dough for regrinding. In Russia, the Tver roastery and its waste service provider partners found an innovative way to recycle the coffee-related food waste: in decorative pillows and animal feed. In reducing food waste, the packaging also plays an important role. At Paulig, the priority in packaging development is always to secure the capability of protecting the food.
Together with consumers and retailers, the food industry can make a difference. Paulig wants to promote the sustainable future of food and do its part in solving the food waste issue. It also wants to inspire consumers to make sustainable choices minimize their food waste.
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) is a cross-faculty research unit in sustainability science within the University of Helsinki.
The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainability transformations of societies by means of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education. The research focuses in particular on Urban Studies, Consumption and Production, the Global South, and Arctic contexts. The establishment of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science in 2018 is a response to a call for the universities and research institutions to take more significant responsibility in finding new pathways towards sustainability transformations.
The Institute gathers together the core expertise from the University of Helsinki in collaboration with other universities and research institutes in the Helsinki area. It also includes non-academic stakeholders in order to contribute to sustainability transformations in society.