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Unsold bread waste reduction schemes

Waste bread can be generated in different places of the value chain. In particular, one part of the waste bread is generated at the manufacturing site, in bakeries and the remaining part is generated in the sales outlets and/or in the supermarkets i.e. retail market. The main waste bread generators are illustrated in the figure below.

unsold bread

This best practice deals with the establishment of appropriate bread ‘take-back’ schemes where the unsold bread from the points of sale is taken back to the bakery where it was initially produced. The collected bread is stored in the bakery and can be processed into bread-crumbs and dumplings. Alternatively, it can be collected by licensed companies such as charities or social organisations especially if bread is still edible and suitable for human consumption, or can be used for other purposes e.g. animal feed.

The bakeries which do not have selling points, can directly implement the measures of this best practice without the need of set up of a take-back system. For other bakeries that participate in such schemes and deliver bread to distant points of sale, it is recommended that they ensure hygiene requirements and organise properly handling, transport and storage of the collected and unsold bread.

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