In the literature, cosmetic quality standards are often linked to food losses. Compliance often means that part of the food production will not be used in the human food chain, but will be rather intended for low value valorisation.
Currently, knowledge on cosmetic quality standards and the quantitative consequences on food marketing are relatively limited. A number of reports show that a considerable part of fruits and vegetables is discarded, but only few data are available. Preventing food waste is on the policy agenda of Flanders, so additional research is needed to identify the challenges in Flanders and to work out solutions.
To that aim, a survey was conducted among 300 horticulturists. The research was ordered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Government of Flanders as a contribution to the Food Supply Chain Roadmap on Food Loss and carried out by the University of Ghent.