AI and digital tracing: Building efficient and transparent supply chains in 2024

In 2024, better solutions throughout the supply chain to support sustainability targets and economic needs will be a crucial focus for brands, prompting evolving developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and digital tracing.

“There is an increasing global demand and urgent need for healthy, resilient and sustainable food systems,” Lorena Savani, Mission Lead of Healthier Lives Through Food at EIT Food, told FoodNavigator.

Protecting the planet and pricing

With changing consumer trends observed over the past few years, the importance of sustainably sourced food and cost management prevail.

Approximately 931 million tonnes of food was wasted in 2019, the Food Waste Index Report 2021​ from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partner organisation WRAP found​. Today, consumers are increasingly aware of food sources and their environmental impact.

As the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are edging ever closer, the industry needs to explore and find ways to meet its SDG 12.3 goal to halve food waste. “The impact on the planet is the primary focus here. However, this translates to lost revenue for restaurants, which often manifests itself in increased prices for consumers,” Alex Kiely, General Manager of the UK at Choco, told FoodNavigator.

In the UK, the cost of avoidable food waste per cover in a restaurant is around 95p. “This may not seem significant, but when you consider a restaurant with 500 covers a week–this translates to just under £25,000 over a year,” added Kiely.

Price management, both for consumers and manufacturers,  is a considerable factor present in the food industry. “It is vital to ensure that food prices don’t skyrocket”, Kiely said.  With rising inflation levels​ an ongoing hurdle over the past two years, manufacturers and consumers are ever-conscious of high food costs.