Philippe Schuler

Student thesis: Master thesis


In a world faced by the threatening challenges of climate change, limited natural resources, and food insecurity, the reduction in the so far unprecedented and scandalous scale of food loss and waste becomes crucial in moving closer to sustainable development. While numerous studies have researched its causes and drivers across various stages of the chain, the integration and use of Supply Chain Management to help solve this issue systemically on a specific food supply chain through eco-effectiveness and redesign has thus far been neglected. By holistically analysing the fresh potato supply chain in Denmark, predominantly focusing on the pre-consumption stages, it becomes apparent that supply chain inefficiencies and uncertainties drive the value chain to suboptimal performance. Through the use of the self-created ‘Eco-effectiveness Model of Food Loss and Waste’, the specific elements of the supply chain scenario were specified as well as the performance measurements in place by firms operating in the chain through the Triple Bottom Line. To demonstrate the use of the model, quality standards and product specifications were identified as the most prominent cause of food loss and waste in the system. As the main source of uncertainty, these standards and specifications indirectly set by consumer expectations, habits, and preferences shift food loss and waste to the downstream stages of the supply chain and further drive inefficiency. Hence, the various ways the different actors redirect food loss and waste to other opportunities were analysed, before finally suggesting what changes in the elements of the supply chain scenario, through redesign strategies, would help to reshape the chain towards a sustainable and eco-effective system. While retailers are seen as the bridging entity between all other actors in the chain, the monitoring and control of the quality standards, and the optimised flow of communication and streamlined coordination of product specifications will become vital to move closer to an eco-effective system. As the model self-replicates, the supply chain will modify itself over time and further drive out food loss and waste, and subsequently move towards a sustainable value chain. Although this study was specifically attributed to the fresh potato supply chain in Denmark, it would become interesting to apply and replicate this systemic approach further across other products and contexts in the future.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages100