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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Bread loss rates at the supplier-retailer interface-Analysis of risk factors to support waste prevention measures

Brancoli, Pedro; Lundin, Magnus; Bolton, Kim; Eriksson, Mattias


This paper quantifies bread waste throughout the Swedish supply chain and investigates the loss rate of prepackaged bread products at the supplier-retailer interface. The goal is to understand the extent of bread waste in Sweden and to identify risk factors for high quantities of waste at the supplier-retailer interface, in order to provide information supporting waste prevention measures. The study uses primary data, in combination with national statistics and data from sustainability reports and the literature. Primary data were collected from 380 stores of a Swedish retail company and a bakery. Bread waste was calculated to be 80 410 tons/year in Sweden, the equivalent of 8.1 kg per person/year, and was found to be concentrated at households and in retail, specifically at the supplier-retailer interface. The results provide evidence that take-back agreements between suppliers and retailers, where the retailer only pays for sold products and the supplier bears the cost of the unsold products and their collection and treatment, are risk factors for high waste generation. Current business models may need to be changed to achieve a more sustainable bread supply chain with less waste.


Food waste; Bread; Retail; Take-back agreement; Waste prevention; Reasons

Published in

Resources, Conservation and Recycling
2019, Volume: 147, pages: 128-136

    Associated SLU-program

    Food Waste

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG2 Zero hunger
    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Management

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)