In Nigeria, one promising tactic for getting nutrient-dense fresh fruits and vegetables to communities with high rates of malnutrition starts with a simple swap: trading traditional raffia baskets for plastic crates when transporting tomatoes from farm to market.
“These perishable foods, you’ve got to move them, and they’ve got to get to market fast, and they’ve got to be safe,” says Bonnie McClafferty, the food value chain director at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). “Everybody wants to look at staples. Staples are easy, you can put them in a silo. But because these foods are so tender, you need to look at an entirely different infrastructure that has to be well-timed, well-honed, and well-managed.”
Improving that infrastructure to make sure more fresh, healthy food actually reaches the people who need it is the focus of the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), one of GAIN’s supply chain intervention programs.
While many organizations have been tackling the global food waste problem in various innovative ways, PLAN takes a unique approach by drawing a clear line between food loss and nutrition loss, and by implementing solutions that reduce the waste that happens between the farm gate and the consumer. Read more