Inventory management is a tricky practice to perfect and if not executed properly, can lead to immense post-harvest losses and food waste, one of the foremost concerns for farmers. Mainland China reported that it loses 12% of its grain and 20% of its potato and fruit product due to improper storage.
To reduce these losses and the astronomical costs that accompany them, farmers must proactively store inventory at a carbon dioxide concentration below 600 parts per million in order to curb mold growth and infestation. Currently, there are sensors in production that can discover and flag any potential losses 3-5 weeks earlier than traditional temperature monitoring methods, which often only uncover risks too late to fully prevent losses.
Proper farm inventory storage relies on adequate and accurate data, full oversight of all activities in real-time, and proper communication between all parties. Without these factors, there will inevitably be costly financial, product, and resource losses.
While product waste occurs throughout the supply chain, reducing losses at the post-harvest storage stage could significantly reduce waste throughout the chain, especially as it sits at the beginning of the supply chain.
If agricultural products are stored properly, they are more likely to meet retailers' standards and not be discarded at this stage.
Food loss is an issue that affects the industry on a financial, social, and environmental level.