A systematic review of food loss and waste in China: Quantity, impacts and mediators

Charlene Li, Phil Bremer, Marie K. Harder, Michael SW. Lee, Kate Parker, Evamaria C. Gaugler, Miranda Mirosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although food loss and waste (FL&W) is high on China’s national policy agenda, there is still little scientific information published about how much FL&W exists in China, what its impacts are, and what needs to be done to reduce it. Furthermore, what is known about FL&W across the various hotspots of China’s food supply chain is not accessible in one place due to the tendency of scholars to focus on one part of the food chain depending on their disciplinary backgrounds, thereby making it difficult to obtain a ‘comprehensive whole supply chain perspective’. Thus, this review provides an interdisciplinary collation of what is already known about FL&W in China. A systematic review of both English and Chinese databases followed PRISMA guidelines further com-plemented with a qualitative content analysis process uncovered 57 articles. The view revealed confounding factors such as an inconsistency of the definitions and calculation methods used to measure FL&W, and research gaps such as a lack of focus on the behavioral factors pertaining to waste, and the limited range of social in-novations studied to reduce it. Thus, this review will help in the development of research agendas designed to advance efforts in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114092
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the New Zealand – China Food Protection Network, 3000037041. C.L. acknowledges the receipt of a PhD scholarship from the University of Otago .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • Food loss and waste (FL&W)
  • Food supply chain (FSC)
  • Quantities
  • Impacts
  • Mediators


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