Most food manufacturing businesses invariably struggle with food waste management. What’s more, they often have little or no clue about the value they can unlock from the waste that they generate. While it’s no secret that reducing food waste should be their primary objective, it isn’t a bad idea to turn the generated food waste into an advantage.

Read this blog to figure out the ways through which food manufacturing businesses can benefit from food waste:


Food manufacturing waste is a major global problem, with serious consequences not just for the stakeholders of the food supply chain, but also for the planet. It costs the food manufacturing industry billions of dollars in lost revenue, affects the natural and human resources real hard, and harms the environment too.

Here are Some Numbers to Put Things into Perspective:

Food manufacturing Waste Facts

In addition, there are some indirect economic consequences too. Just spare a thought for all the natural resources like land, water, labour, and energy that are put under strain to grow, process, store and dispose of the food that never gets consumed, and adds to the food waste.

We won’t be surprised if these facts & figures dumbfound you. More so, if you are a food manufacturer. But what if we tell you that you can turn your food manufacturing waste into an advantage?

Let’s find out how in this blog. But before we proceed further, let’s first understand in brief what food waste is in the context of manufacturing.

What’s food waste in manufacturing?

Food gets wasted at every step of the food chain, right from manufacturing and transportation, to storage & handling in supermarket, and finally on our food plates. However, substantial food waste occurs before the food even reaches to our plates, and it happens predominantly during the manufacturing process, at a food manufacturer’s plant.

The focus of our blog is on this particular waste.

Food waste in manufacturing is the waste or useless substances generated in any form — solid, liquid, or gas — during the conduct of manufacturing operations at the plant. Some common forms of manufacturing waste include the residues of the production process, waste due to defects, spoiled/expired inventory, waiting times, overproduction, etc.

Managing the resources optimally and keeping the waste to minimum are the primary objectives food manufacturers work with, and they are ably assisted by a food manufacturing ERP software in this quest. Blogs have been written on how an ERP for food manufacturing software can help manage waste & save costs.

But we’re taking a slightly different route in this blog, as we take a look at different ways through which you can turn your generated food manufacturing waste into an advantage. Let’s have a look at them before we proceed to understand them in a bit more detail.

How Can You Change Food Manufacturing Waste into Advantage?

Here are the following Advantage You can Get from Food Manufacturing Waste –

  1. Advantage #1 – Save money for the business
  2. Advantage #2 – Earn money for the business
  3. Advantage #3 – Earn brownie points with customers
  4. Advantage #4 – Kill two birds with one stone
food manufacturing waste into an advantage

Advantage #1 – Save money for the business

No matter how hard the manufacturers try, some food waste is unavoidable. So, it is an obvious fact that all food manufacturing businesses operate with the knowledge that they’ll have some wastage to deal with, and to dispose of.

However, if they can’t sort out and categorize the food waste appropriately, it’s an added expense for their business, because of the stringent regulatory requirements and safety standards related to waste management that come into play.

Thankfully, with an ERP for food manufacturing, food businesses can adapt to the industry regulation protocols in real time, while handling everything- right from pickup to transportation to final disposal, and documenting each step along the way. This way, they can comply with the rules, avoid paying potentially hefty fines, and thus, save money.

Advantage #2 – Earn money for the business

Food manufacturers can save money with the waste they generate, and additionally, make some money with it too, through managing the by-products & co-products. By-products are the unusable residue of the manufacturing process, while co-products can be reused and sold.

Manufacturers can upcycle the waste, i.e. reroute by-products for use in other goods, and sell their co-products, to make some extra bucks. Many manufacturers are, in fact, already creating biofuels and fertilizers from the bio-waste they are generating.

A food and beverage manufacturing ERP software has a crucial role to play here, as it can help create another source of income by helping food manufacturing businesses handle the tracking and costing of both the by-products and the co-products.

Advantage #3 – Earn brownie points with customers

In continuation of the above points, the recycling, upcycling, and safe disposal of waste allows the food manufacturing businesses boost their ‘green credentials’, and earn some brownie points with their customers.

By earning this reputation of being a business that cares for the environment, you are likely to attract more aware customers who would love to align with sustainable businesses that share their values and beliefs. This is another way of turning waste into advantage, as more customers mean more one-time as well as repeat business value, and in turn, more revenue.

Again, an ERP can be of great help in this regard, offering real-time visibility across the operations, proper handling and disposal of waste, and reducing the scope of error in management so that events such as releasing toxic wastes without being treated as per standards can be avoided, and ‘green credentials’ can be attained and retained.

Advantage #4 – Kill two birds with one stone

We discussed above how some food waste is never salvageable. But it can still be put to good use if the food manufacturers establish a composting system and transform that waste into soil, which can be further used for gardening and growing new food.

Just to quote one example about how composting can help food businesses kill two birds with one stone — do their bit for the environment and save some money too — natures way foods (NWF) saved more than £65,000 a year by deciding to compost their waste off-site.

Additionally, by not sending the generated green waste to the landfill, the company reduced the greenhouse effect and had fewer pollutants to report. Food manufacturers can manage waste more effectively and minimize environmental risks, thanks to food manufacturing ERP software.

To Sum up

We’re aware of how food and beverage ERP solutions can help food manufacturing businesses reduce their food manufacturing waste. But we saw in this blog post how they can come in handy to help businesses turn waste into an advantage, and make some money from it.

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