Voices from the Field: Understanding On-Farm Crop Losses in California

In the expanding policy and academic discussions around food loss and waste, the topic of on-farm losses has gained increasing attention. In phase one of the research project Voices from the Field, we interviewed growers of tomatoes, leafy greens and peaches in California to understand how they maximize the utility of their crops and to explore opportunities for further reducing food loss on farms. A key premise of the research was the idea that growers are the experts when it comes to on-farm food loss, and that “voices from the field” should be foregrounded in evaluating the extent to which avoidable loss occurs and—if so— in crafting viable solutions. During these conversations, growers shared both examples of successful recovery options and ideas for improvement. As they made clear, efforts to reduce loss should take into account both the social and environmental impacts of underutilized food and the economic impact of lost revenue for those who depend on these crops for their livelihood.

Project Partners:

  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Global Cold Chain Alliance
  • Santa Clara University
  • North Carolina State University