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Retail Chains Under the Food Waste Spotlight: the Case Study Of the Czech Republic

Retail is an intermediary between food producers and consumers and can influence other actors in the agri-food chain. The authors explored the volume of wasted food in the large food stores in the Czech Republic as well as the retail chains' strategies and barriers to reduce it. At the same time, the main reasons for food waste in Czech households were examined. Consumer-oriented retail chain activities were confronted with the reasons for household food wasting and whether a parallel could be found between certain retail and household activities was discussed. Despite the fact that the share of food waste compared to food quantity sold is rather small, the total annual volume of lost food is enormous. The retail chains indicated strategies focused on internal processes as well as toward external entities. The most frequent reason for food wasting mentioned by consumers is over-purchase. Only a negligible portion of them indicated that the reason is purchases made under pressure, such as discounts or child demands. One can consider whether consumers are really not un-pressured when shopping, or if retail marketing policies are so sophisticated that customers buy more than they need without perceiving it. Unfortunately, reducing promotions and discounts as a means of waste reduction was not mentioned by retail chain managers. For further progress, adjustments in legislation are recommended, as well as media education aimed at civic responsibility to increase consumer cooperation.

Bošková, I., Kormaňáková, M.

WASTE FORUM, 1/2022, p. 26-36, ISSN 1804-0195