Minimising Wastage In Food Production: Tips from The Pros

In the world of manufacturing, costs can be considerably higher than in other industries and the quality of raw materials can vary greatly. This poor quality can cause wastage, inevitably increasing costs and reducing the quality of the service you can provide.

As stated by the European Union, there is no agreed-upon definition for the words ‘food wastage’; however, many view it as food that is intended to be discarded.

According to the British Hospitality Association, food waste is a low priority for many smaller organisations, with very little monitored and recorded.

With a little thought, there are many ways to reduce your food waste that are both economical and cost effective.

Setting Limits

In any industry, and especially in the food industry, there will be some form of wastage – customers changing their orders, the poor quality of raw materials and over-ordering can all play their part. It is therefore key to monitor the amount of wastage with the goal of identifying the cause. Once identified, you will be able to put procedures in place to rectify any existing problems.

Firstly, set realistic KPIs and think about what you consider to be a reasonable percentage of loss. Check this figure daily or weekly to see whether you are exceeding your limit.


When evaluating any data, it is important to remember that any information identified needs to be actionable. After realising that you are exceeding your wastage percentage, your evaluation may conclude that you have issues with stock control, poor staff management, batch ordering or out-dated machinery.

Plan and Action

Once you have reviewed your processes and identified the problem areas, you can create a plan of action. The changes you may need to make include investment in machinery such as used food processing machines, thus reducing man-hours and product waste. This investment does not need to cost a lot, as used food machinery is available from Clarke Fussells and other good machinery auctioneers and brokers.

Reducing overproduction may be another step to take, which can be realised through coordinating with other departments, ensuring only what is needed is generated, and by only ordering in bulk if the benefits will be achieved.

Your plan should be pragmatic, clear and have set deadlines for when your new procedures will be enforced.