Pinpointing and tackling food loss hotspots in micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises
Leading the way to curbing food loss in Thailand
The innovations introduced by the FAO-led project helped save an estimated 450 kilograms of rice per month that would otherwise have been lost during processing and distribution.
Packed with micronutrients and vitamins, the germinated brown rice produced by the Ban Lao community-run enterprise in northeastern Thailand’s Sakon Nakhon province has long been popular with health-conscious consumers. Getting its production to turn out right used to be a tricky business, however. The processing of this specialty rice product involves soaking and fermentation or germination overnight, followed by steaming to cook the grain before drying it.
“If we dried the rice too little, the rice would have mould. If we dried it too long, it would be broken during the milling process so we would get less rice as a result,” says Natakarn Dakawong, President of the Brown Rice Ban Lao Community Regeneration Group.
But all that’s changed thanks to a project aimed at reducing food loss in the processing and distribution of micro-, small- and medium-sized food producers (MSMEs) and cutting food waste in their retail operations. Funded by the Government of Japan, the project was formulated and supervised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It was implemented with the Thai government, with technical support from the country’s Mahidol University.
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