The food manufacturing and processing sectors generate a significant amount of Ireland’s food waste. Much of this waste is inedible (for example skins, seeds, bones) and redirected for animal feed or energy production. As a result, it is often overlooked when considering food waste prevention.

In order to reduce wastes in the manufacturing and processing sectors, the specific reasons contributing to the generation of food waste must be identified. These reasons will vary but the following are some that are commonly encountered:

  • Trimming during processing
  • Product specifications (e.g. size, cosmetic/ aesthetic standards)
  • Quality control
  • Rejected or damaged ingredients or products
  • End of line/batch residues
  • Product lost through cleaning
  • Improper packaging
  • Contamination on the processing line
  • Errors in processing resulting in defects
  • Poor operational practices
  • Poor instrumentation and controls

Relevant resources

The Little Milk Company And Sustainability

Irish Food and drink producers actively trying to improve their sustainability as part of Bord Bia's Origin Green Program

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Case Study: Kerry Foods

Freshways sandwich making firm reduced unused bread that was previously going to waste.

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Guide to Sustainable Business in Food

Guide: Your Guide to Sustainable Business in Food, Government of South Australia