Japanese companies go high-tech in the battle against food waste

Japanese companies go high-tech in the battle against food waste Japanese companies go high-tech in the battle against food waste

Tokyo: Japanese companies are increasing the number of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to reduce waste and cut costs in the pandemic as a part of global efforts to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Japan’s government disclosed some data according to which disposing of country’s more than 6 million tonnes in food waste costs the world's No.3 economy some 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) a year.

Hence, with the highest food waste per capita in Asia, the Japanese government has enacted a new law to halve such costs from 2000 levels by 2030, pushing companies to find solutions

In battle against food waste, convenience store chain ‘Lawson Inc’ has started using AI from U.S. firm DataRobot, which has the capability to estimate how much product on shelves may go unsold or fall short of demand.

Disposal of food waste is the biggest cost for Lawson's franchise owners after labour costs.

Moreover, drinks maker ‘Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd’ is experimenting with another AI product from Fujitsu Ltd to try to determine if goods such as bottles of oolong tea and mineral water have been damaged in shipping.

With the new AI, the company hopes to gauge when a damaged box is just that, or when the contents themselves have been damaged and need to be returned.

Suntory aims to reduce the return of goods by 30-50%.

Some others have also joined forces with food firms in developing new technological platform to cut food waste as part of global efforts to meet SDGs.

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