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Sustainable Food Chain Model

Life Cycle Assessment of Food Products, Food Value Chains, and Food Waste

Basic structure of the Sustainable Food Chain Model.

At a glance


The value of the food wasted today as food waste in retail and the food industry in Switzerland can be estimated at over 1 billion francs and pollutes the environment with around 10 trillion ecopoints, which corresponds to half of motorized private transport. The federal government is currently developing an action plan for the implementation of SDG 12.3 “Halving food waste by 2030", which Switzerland has co-ratified. Accordingly, the food industry and retailers are asked to develop industry goals and implement measures. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for industry and retail to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of measures to avoid food waste.

Building on the methodology of the dissertation “Environmental effects and strategies to avoid food losses in Switzerland", the “Sustainable Food Chain Model" was developed, which combines mass and energy flow analyzes of the Swiss food chain with life cycle assessment data. The content of this project was to further develop the algorithms implemented in a basic model and tested in scientific publications through digitalization into a tool that can be used not only by researchers, but also by experts from environmental and consulting offices as well as food manufacturers. This allows measures to be identified and prioritized more efficiently and precisely to avoid food waste and improve the efficiency of food value chains.