Food poverty & waste


Emerald and SDGs
An Emerald mission in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We produce enough food in the world for everyone, and yet some people still go hungry.  

It's estimated that about a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, with 14% of food lost between harvest and retail (UN, 2019). 

The pandemic has brought further focus on key questions around food poverty and waste. Here, we bring together some research on the topic, with the aim of starting a dialogue with you and the wider research community. 

We'd love you to get in touch if you'd like to contribute to this discussion via an article, blog, case study or opinion piece.

This mission supports our Responsible management goal

Section 1

Food waste...
Causes, culprits & cures

How can the supply chain be optimised to improve food security and avoid food waste?

With about 14% of food lost between harvest and retail, seeking to improve the efficiency of supply chains is a key area of research. Here we have three articles illustrating the complexities of analysing and improving supply chains, plus a call for special issue proposals.

Get in touch to contribute

Food security across the enterprise: a puzzle, a problem or a mess for a circular economy?

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

Calls for the development of new tools that can accommodate inter-relationships between the factors contributing to food security.

The role of supply chain integration in strengthening the performance of not-for-profit organisations: evidence from the food banking industry

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Discusses the role of supply chain integration in improving food bank performance in the USA.…

Is marketing a culprit and can it be part of the cure? 

With a huge variety of choice in supermarkets, is retailer marketing responsible for a lot of food waste, and can social marketing help mitigate this?

Here are some articles addressing this, plus a call for papers. 

If you're researching in this area and want to contribute, please get in touch!. 

I'd like to join the discussion

Systemic literature review of best practice in food waste reduction programs

Journal of Social Marketing

Explores the problem of food waste in Mauritius through an understanding of households' attitudes, and their motivations and barriers to food waste recycling.

Should the hospitality & tourism industry re-evaluate its contribution to food waste?

As tourism becomes more diverse, so does the nature of its food waste.

A narrow focus on waste in traditional hospitality establishments may overlook growing tourist households. We've selected a couple of articles that investigate this.

I'd like to contribute

What role can profit focus, organisational behaviour & legislation play in addressing waste?

Food is a valuable resource that should not be considered as disposable. Food waste in landfill harms our environment and contributes to climate change. Unconsumed food is a wasted resource across production, processing and transport. It also raises the moral issue of people starving while others waste food.

Get in touch to contribute

Moral judgments of food wasting predict food wasting behavior

British Food Journal

Examines whether people who consider food wasting behavior immoral display food wasting behaviors less frequently and whether they waste less food in general.
Section 2

Food poverty...
Definitions & local initiatives

Food poverty resources

Here we have curated articles discussing aspects of food poverty, including one on defining food poverty, and two from Emerald Open Research, our open access platform.  

You can also leave comments about these open articles on the platform.


Moving from a behavioural to a systemic understanding of food practices

Emerald Open Research

'The reality is that on Universal Credit I cannot provide the recommended amount of fresh fruit and vegetables per day for my children.'

Shifting food policy from commodity to community thinking 

Emerald Open Research

Explores work around linking communities to food, and the vital potential of the research to inform new policy that encapsulates societal sustainability into food systems thinking.

Martin Caraher talks about food poverty in the UK and the impact of COVID-19

Professor Caraher discusses how the COVID-19 crisis has affected low income families in the UK. Having used up any savings, and without access to some of their usual credit routes, these families have taken on expensive debt and have had to cut back spending on food. He discusses the consequence of this for families and suggests what the UK government should do to support these families going forward.

Case studies & podcasts

Here we have a case study about a local initiative tackling food poverty with ambitions to go global, plus a podcast with Professor Bob Doherty (Professor of Marketing, University of York, UK) and Madeleine Power (ESRC Post-doctoral Fellow, University of York, UK) discussing food insecurity in the UK.  

I'd like to contribute

How COVID-19 has exposed inequalities in the UK food system

Section 3

Related books
& book chapters

We’ve curated this collection of relevant books all with a sample chapter free to browse at our Bookstore, and have also included a relevant chapter from one of our book series.

Section 4

Emerald Open Research

Emerald Open Research is our open research platform. All articles published on Emerald Open Research are freely available to read, download and share.


Emerald Open Research gateways

Articles in these gateways will always be free to browse, download and share.

Sustainable food systems gateway

This gateway aims to address scientific, sociological, political and economic challenges around sustainable food systems to offer solutions for development and drive change.

Responsible management gateway

This gateway sits on our open access platform, Emerald Open Research. All research published within the gateway is freely available to read, download and share.
Section 5

Other useful resources

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Talk to us about your work

We love hearing from researchers and practitioners about their work.

If you would like to contribute to this page please let us know by filling in this form. 

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