Cool Chain Association members have piloted a new scheme to tackle food loss by sharing temperature data from perishable consignments moving from Latin America to the Middle East.
Five pallets of berries and avocados were monitored from Guadalajara, Mexico to delivery in Kuwait using loggers powered by secure Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Partners for the pilot included Cargolux, Able Freight, Air France KLM, SmartCAE and Xtreme Technologies.
Edwin Kalischnig, CEO of Xtreme Technologies, which provided the NFC loggers for the pilot says this scheme had never been done before.
He says: “Once we identify gaps, we can look at where we can improve, and that is how change happens. Establishing trust is important and I hope that together we make an impact, and this is the beginning of a journey towards less food waste.”
Temperature movements revealed by the pilot data will be analysed by Philippe Schuler, food waste campaigner with Too Good To Go, a free smartphone app enabling users to buy leftover food from retailers.
He presented preliminary findings with Kalischnig at the CCA’s Perishables Conference at Fresh Park Venlo, the Netherlands on Tuesday 14 May.
Schuler explained that 40% of food transported around the world needs refrigeration and 20% of food loss is caused by a breakdown in the cool chain.
He says: “If you have the common objective of reducing food waste, you can achieve it, but we are not transparent across the cool chain and accountability is a problem.”
Schuler adds that the project is a starting point and as more data becomes available, the CCA will be able to be more scientific and develop best practices.
Three NFC loggers were placed in an aircraft lower deck pallet during the pilot scheme to measure the temperature at the top, bottom and in the middle of each consignment.
Schuler and Kalischnig suggested data collected during the program could be analysed in the context of a metric called Degree-Hours, which takes temperature and time into consideration to give an absolute figure against which consignments on a given journey can be measured.
Eric Mauroux, director verticals and global head of perishables at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, and CCA treasurer says: “This opens up a new way of working, where we are not pinpointing the excursion, but looking at the journey as a whole and developing solutions.”