- On December 14, 2021
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- food and beverage, food distribution, food erp, Food Manufacturer, food manufacturing, food one, food technology, SAP, sap b1, SAP Business One, sustainability
Food Processing Industry Statistics
Food Processing Sustainable Practices. Consumers are making the sustainability shift in nearly every aspect of life, and Food is not an exception to this trend. This sustainability trend has completely taken the world by storm. With industries of every kind making the shift and changing to keep up with the masses. Here are some statistics from Forbes (1) to demonstrate just how widespread the consumer demand for sustainability is becoming:
- 65% of consumers are looking for products that can aid them in living more sustainably and socially responsible
- 60% of consumers buy products and services from companies that operate by being socially and/or environmentally conscious
- 54% of consumers try to purchase products or services specifically from brands that advocate for social or environmental issues
- 43% of consumers will purchase from brands with a large, well-known purpose rather than from competitor brands without a known purpose
Gaining insight from these percentages, the Food Processing Industry is not going to be exempt from the sustainability shift that consumers are demonstrating. Adopting a more sustainable approach takes time and thoughtful planning. Here are four ways that the food processing industry can adopt more sustainable practices in operation (2):
1. Eco-Friendly Packaging:
The shift away from plastic packaging is the future and is one of the primary ways that the food processing industry can contribute to a more sustainable way of business. Over 78 million tons of plastic packaging are produced each year, yet only 14% of that is recycled. This, unfortunately, means, that the majority of plastic will end up in a landfill. Alternative methods of packaging that are more environmentally friendly include wood, paper, and other biodegradable resources. Starting on the path of becoming environmentally conscious can begin with making this simple change.
2. Reduce Food Waste:
1.3 billion tons of food in the United States gets wasted every year; this equates to nearly a third of all food that is produced. Investing time, money, and resources into food production just for so much to get wasted is upsetting, and nearly half of all of this food waste occurs during processing and manufacturing. Finding ways to reduce food waste such as optimizing management and processing strategies and systems can contribute greatly to lessening the amount of waste. Efficiency and optimization are key to ensuring quality production. Implementing an ERP such as SAP Business One can help streamline and help the processes become more effective.
3. Improved Energy and Water Efficiencies:
Processing and manufacturing food requires large amounts of both energy and water. A statistic for the processing and manufacturing industries in the United States reports that they account for 23% of the food industry’s overall energy usage. It may sound daunting to reduce energy and water consumption due to so many components requiring both to complete the job. However, there are ways that improvement can be made such as implementing energy-efficient and sustainable water management systems. Understanding the options that can help reduce these usages and contribute to energy and water efficiency is the first step to becoming more sustainable.
4. Utilize Sustainable Ingredients:
Agricultural practices have developed growing concerns in recent years regarding their sustainability factors. Deforestation and habitat destruction are just two of the biggest concerns when dealing with agriculture. Affecting where food manufacturers and processors are getting their goods from. To be certain they are only purchasing sustainable ingredients that are not harmful to the environment, those industries can source high-risk ingredients responsibly, just as the UTZ/Rainforest Alliance does for coffee, tea, and cocoa. Setting these strict standards on where the produce comes from and making certain it is sourced sustainably is a great way to contribute to the cause.
Overall, sustainability is the way of the future, for both the food processing industry and consumers. The best way to follow suit is to become familiar with the steps required to begin the road of becoming more sustainable. Implementing technologies to help this process occur more seamlessly and with less distress to business and production can help make the transitions feel less drastic. SAP values purpose and sustainability while helping businesses run better.
For Information on how to become more sustainable check out our sustainability white paper: https://softengine.com/resources/whitepaper/manufacturing-sustainability/
Information on SAP’s sustainability mission can be found here https://www.sap.com/about/company/purpose-and-sustainability.html.