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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

TCI Scholar Presents Food Loss Research at ANH Academy Week

Laborers pack tomatoes at an auction. (Photo by Jocelyn Boiteau/TCI)

TCI scholar Jocelyn Boiteau presented her research on food loss in Indian tomato supply chains during the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health Academy Week 2020, held virtually from June 30-July 2. Academy Week brings together the community of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition, and health to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and learning.

A PhD candidate in international nutrition, Boiteau presented “Perspectives on Quantity and Quality Food Loss: Food Loss Estimates Across Tomato Supply Chain Actors in South India,” based on her field-based study of the Indian tomato supply chain.

In her presentation, Boiteau explains that farmers report the most tomato quantity and quality loss among supply chain actors. Tomato traders and vegetable traders report the least tomato quantity loss. She also says that supply chain actors each have different ideas about which tomato quality attributes are important. Boiteau reports that several data collection challenges exist, such as the timing of activities for each supply chain actor and capturing those activities at the time of the survey. Moving forward, she says it will be important to document and share knowledge on supply chain complexities across different food supply chains and contexts to improve food loss measurement methods.