Fresh Food Logistics

Too much food is lost in distribution chains. Through the ‘Fresh Food Logistics’ project, VIL aims to investigate where and how food spoilage can be prevented or reduced, through the optimization of the logistics chains for fresh food for retailers.

status: Closed | theme: Green Supply Chains | type: Regional


According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 45% of European food production ends up on the waste mountain. In Flanders, the annual loss of food in distribution chains is estimated at 116,000 tonnes.

In France, parliament passed a law in 2015 to prevent food waste in supermarkets. The European Commission also takes food wastage seriously and aims to halve food waste in the EU by 2030.

Flanders should capitalize on this to strengthen its position as an agrofood region.


  • To reduce waste and its processing;
  • To optimize stocks and forecasting;
  • To anticipate stricter legislation regarding food waste.

The objective of this project is to prevent or reduce food waste through the optimization of the logistics chains for fresh food for retailers. Therefore, the scope of the project extends from the delivery of the food products to the distribution centres to the shop shelf.

The waste mountain created by production on the one hand and consumption on the other falls outside the scope of this project. Frozen food is also outside the scope.


  1. Based on a bottleneck analysis for the various participants in the project:
    – Map out the current situation of Flemish retailers with regard to the critical factors contributing to food spoilage in the logistics chain.
    – List the technologies used to prevent spoilage, the supporting ICT and communication systems.
  2. Analyze Best practices, in Belgium and abroad, to form a picture of individual corporate initiatives and partnerships between companies. How do major foreign retailers deal with forecasting and use-by dates, and what technology do they use?
  3. Determine the ideal logistics concept in terms of:
    – Organization, focusing on forecasting processes and use-by dates.
    – Technology for monitoring conditions in the chain (e.g. temperature)
  4. Work out a business case. What are the economic benefits for the retailer? Income side: reducing waste and decreasing stocks. Cost side: investment in technology and software development, integration and implementation costs and maintenance costs.
  5. Performance of aproof of concept to test whether the insights acquired in working out the ideal logistics concept also apply in a retail business environment.


Start: April 2016

Lead time: 23 months

Participating companies

Belgian New Fruit Wharf, Carrefour, Delhaize, Groupe Mestdagh, Imperial Meat Products, Kuehne+Nagel, La Lorraine Bakery Group, Retail Partners Colruyt, Special Fruit, Vleeswaren Depuydt and Willis Towers Watson (Belgium) (Gras Savoye Belgium)

Belgian New Fruit Wharf Carrefour vierkant Delhaize Groupe Mestdagh Imperial Meat Products Kuehne + Nagel La Lorraine Bakery Group Retail Partners Colruyt Special Fruit Fermette 2 

Fresh Food Logistics website 2

Sounding board

FEVIA, Flanders’ Food, Ovam and VBT (Verbond van Belgische Tuinbouwcoöperaties).

fevia flanders-food ovam verbond-van-belgische-tuinbouwcooperaties

VIL stands for a strong logistical Flanders

About VIL

Koninklijkelaan 76 - B-2600 Berchem
T: +32 3 229 05 00
VAT: BE 0480.185.038
IBAN: BE59 0014 0122 5826