Post-harvest loss reduction: A value chain perspective on the impact of post-harvest management in attaining economically and environmentally sustainable food chains
This report (PDF) by the Wageningen Food & Biobased Research aims to provide insight in the potential impact of postharvest management (PHM) on the following themes: 1) food security, 2) food safety, 3) economic revenues, 4) employment, and 5) climate footprint. The key message was that PHM contributes to the improvement of availability, quality and safety of perishable food products. Improved product quality may lead to higher incomes in the value chain, better consumer satisfaction, and lower environmental impact. Additionally, PHM can reduce the price of food and thus enhance potential access. In this paper the topic of post-harvest management was reviewed from a value chain perspective. An important aspect in the value chain approach is, that postharvest losses (PHLs) are not caused by one or two specific links in the chain, but are the result of an entire value chain. Tackling PHLs therefore requires a value chain approach rather than actions from a single stakeholder or a single solution approach. Intervening in the post-harvest chain on value chain level is foremost a matter for the private sector. There is, however, a significant role to play for governmental policy on sectoral and national level in creating the desired incentives and infrastructure for investing in PHM, in monitoring impact, and in setting and maintaining concrete FLW targets for sector stakeholders to comply with.