17 November 2022 - Nong Bua Lam Phu province - Thailand - Freshly cleaned raw fish is mixed with salt, sugar, garlic, and cooked rice, and then left to marinate for several days to make pla som at Baan Huai Bong fish processing group 'One' brand shop in Nong Bua Lam Phu province, northeastern Thailand on November 17, 2022. Pla som (literal translation: sour fish) is a type of preserved fish commonly eaten in Isan - the northeast region of Thailand.
In the framework of a Global Project: Capacity building to reduce avoidable food waste in micro, small and medium food processing enterprises and in retail. Around the world, the food processing industry produces large quantities of food loss and food waste (FLW), with both economic and environmental consequences. Reducing FLW is not, however, a high priority for many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries. MSMEs often do not quantify the food that is lost in their processing and distribution operations, or wasted in retail, and their real impacts on profitability and the environment. Addressing the problem, therefore, necessitates an understanding of where and why food loss (FL) and food waste (FW) occur, sensitizing MSMEs as to the economic value of this FLW, and working with them to identify strategic actions that can help reduce it. In Thailand, MSMEs account for approximately 91 percent of food processing operations. The absence of data on FLW in MSMEs in Thailand warranted a thorough and comprehensive approach to address the issue. Through this project, FAO aimed to survey the causes of food loss in the processing and distribution operations of MSMEs and food waste of their outputs in retail establishments in Thailand, with a view to understanding the underlying causes of FLW. This evidence base would then serve to inform effective actions to reduce FL in the processing and distribution operations of MSMEs, and FW of the products in retail, across the country.