The US is a leading producer of agricultural products, including specialty crops. While the current system efficiently delivers a variety of products to market 365 days a year both at home and abroad, there is much loss that occurs across the supply chain, particularly at the endpoints – farms and retail. With that loss comes a great opportunity to improve and recover that produce for human consumption.
This report details research to begin to understand the magnitude of the opportunity through the collection of baseline data from farms on post-harvest losses of peaches, potatoes, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce. Quantitative and qualitative data results found that there is potential in the US to increase availability of fruits and vegetables by better utilizing what is already being produce and in doing so, could mitigate the need to increase land conversion, water use, and the use of other resources to increase our food supply.