For food and beverage businesses, establishing—or maintaining—eco-friendly practices can have a direct impact on the sustainability and fiscal health of the business. Optimizing operations through sustainable business practices can save (or make) money. This is especially important in the face of rising inflation and the ensuing effects on profits. Food and beverage businesses that implement food manufacturing software can not only improve sustainability but can also improve their business.
Because food business software helps businesses streamline operations, lower costs and manage complex manufacturing processes. When a business is running optimally, it can shift its focus from staying afloat to producing safe products and developing environmentally conscientious strategies.
This leads us to the top sustainability trends for food and beverage businesses in 2022.
Top Sustainability Trends for 2022
- Zero Food Waste
We live in a “throw-away” world. Mass consumption of one-use products has led society to view all consumables as disposable. Sadly, this viewpoint has extended to food and beverages, leading to billions of pounds of food waste a year. And this food waste has spawned an entire food waste management market.
Food waste management involves the collecting, treating and disposing of uneaten, imperfect or abandoned food and beverage items. Per Future Market Insights (FMI), the food waste management market value is forecasted to reach US $116.4 billion by 2032.
To counteract this enormous waste, food and beverage businesses are working towards zero food waste, thus keeping food out of landfills and reducing carbon emissions. A few of their strategies include encouraging composting, which can be used as an energy source, and donating food surpluses to communities in need or to non-profits.One such business is FoodMaven, a socially conscious online platform that sells food that would otherwise be wasted to restaurants, universities, hotels and more. Its mission is All Food Used…With Good Purpose, and it has a zero-landfill policy, which means they ensure that food not sold is donated or used as animal feed.
- Sustainable Packaging and Eco-Labeling
In a disposable world, it’s not surprising that plastic waste is becoming a crisis. The Washington Post, citing a National Academy of Sciences study, says the US is the #1 plastic waster, “generating about 287 pounds of plastics per person.”
A company that is working to ease the crisis by producing eco-friendly food packaging made from plant-based materials is good natured ® Products Inc. Shunning BPAs and phthalates, the packaging is certified compostable, allowing the company to displace 11,500,000 pounds of petroleum-based plastics (as of April 2022).
Good natured Products, FoodMaven and other eco-conscious businesses like them are putting their hearts and souls into creating a sustainable future, and they’re becoming easier to find with the not-so-new trend of eco-labeling. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), eco-labels are “marks placed on product packaging or in e-catalogs that can help consumers and institutional purchasers quickly and easily identify those that meet specific environmental performance criteria and are therefore deemed ‘environmentally preferable’.”
The EPA also notes that the information an eco-label provides is dependent on what type of label it is:
Ecolabels can be single-attribute, meaning they focus on a single lifecycle stage (i.e. the use phase) of a product/service or a single environmental issue (i.e. VOC emissions). They can also be multi-attribute, meaning they focus on the entire lifecycle (manufacture, use, maintenance, disposal) of a product/service and address many different environmental issues (i.e. energy use, chemical use, recycling, and more).
Sustainable packaging and eco-labeling are difference makers in the sustainability movement, providing consumers with eco-friendly options while also encouraging them to spend their money with environmentally conscious businesses.
- Going Local
The supply chain disruptions of the last few years have forced businesses to rethink their supply chain strategy. Their conclusion? Buying resources closer to home help them circumvent the transportation backlogs and give them more control over their supply sources. As the move towards buying locally increases, food and beverage businesses are able to provide consumers with the traceability consumers expect in today’s digital climate.
A Green Business Bureau (GBB) article discusses the advantages of buying local in more detail:
By purchasing food and other goods that are produced locally you stimulate the economy in which you live. Jobs are created or retained, the community gains revenue, families and cultures are supported, and things thrive and grow.
Purchasing locally also means that you know a bit more about quality control; you know that certain goods have been produced in a way that meets stringent regional and national standards. When purchasing goods from out of the country it can be difficult to know the manufacturing processes and potentially harmful chemicals and byproducts involved.
The article also notes: “Further, sourcing locally reduces the transportation costs associated with your goods. Certainly it takes less gas, and thus puts fewer greenhouse emissions into the air, to drive a bushel of apples from town to town than across the nation or globe. Local items are also more likely to be fresh compared to items that are transported long distances.”
As trends go, going local has significant environmental-and-consumer benefits.
Sustainability Trends Supported by FoodBusiness ERP
The top sustainability trends for 2022 will be on tap for years to come. Reducing waste, creating sustainable products and buying local are ongoing requirements if a healthy planet is the goal for food and beverage businesses.
And it is.
This is why food and beverage businesses should consider implementing food business software, like FoodBusiness ERP. Built in Sage X3 and delivered by NexTec industry experts, it’s a solution designed specifically for food and beverage manufacturing needs, from food manufacturing production to food manufacturing inventory management. It also supports sustainability efforts by helping businesses:
- Improve operational efficiency
- Reduce production waste
- Trace ingredients, packaging and finished goods bi-directionally
- Execute recalls
- Designate allergens
- Manage shelf-life and expiration dates
- Track inventory accurately
- Support compliance standards
- Streamline multiple supplier management
FoodBusiness ERP customer Marta De Varona, VP Finance and Administration, ARA Food Corp, says, “We’re now able to track scrap and waste in ways that weren’t feasible before. It’s been very helpful both in honing our own practices, and also to match scrap and waste back to the source of the [product]. We’ve identified suppliers from which we receive a higher amount of scrap and waste and work with them to help them improve their handling procedures.”
To learn how FoodBusiness ERP can help your business with its sustainability efforts, contact our experts today. We’d love to chat and to schedule a demonstration.