A sum of incidentals or a structural problem? The true nature of food waste in the metropolitan region of Barcelona
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Addressing the generation of food waste is a major challenge nowadays. An increasing interest in studying food waste generation has emerged over the last decade. However, little attention has been devoted to understanding the root of the problem by carrying out a whole-supply-chain analysis and applying multidimensional approaches. The aim of this paper was to identify the causes of food waste in the metropolitan region of Barcelona along the food supply chain, considering the relevant stakeholders’ perceptions. Moreover, we examined the circumstantial or structural nature of the identified causes. We conducted a qualitative study consisting of 24 in-depth interviews of key stakeholders in the region along the food supply chain from October 2014 to January 2015. The interviews were analyzed by content analysis, and the main results are presented here. We used a conceptual framework that differentiates among micro, meso, and macro causes to disentangle the nature of the causes. The results from this study show the great interest of regional stakeholders in the issue of the generation of food waste and provide a complete map of the causes of food waste in the metropolitan region. From our study, we advocate that food waste is not only a sum of incidentals but it a structural problem.
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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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