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Study Reveals Drivers of Food Loss in Produce Supply Chain

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) published Economic Drivers of Food Loss at the Farm and Pre-Retail Sectors: A Look at the Produce Supply Chain in the United States. The study provides an overview of the drivers of food loss on the farm and in other pre-retail sectors, with a focus on economic incentives that underlie the way fresh foods are grown, processed, and marketed in the United States. It identifies major factors influencing food loss as price volatility, labor costs and availability, infrastructure costs, consumer expectations, contracts, and policy constraints. The complete study, which is available online, presents case studies of several key commodities (fresh field tomatoes, processing tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, romaine lettuce, and fresh peaches).