This study ascertains potato losses in Switzerland along the value chain from field to fork on the basis of questionnaires. The results show that 41–46% of all processing potatoes and 53–56% of all table potatoes are not eaten by consumers. These losses do not represent a complete waste, however. Threequarters of table-potato losses and 90% of processing-potato losses are used as animal feed. Another 3–8% of potato losses is used to generate energy in biogas plants. Only about 5% of processing potato losses and 28% of table potato losses in total wind up as waste. In addition to harvest surpluses, quality standards exert a strong influence on quantities lost. Over 50% of all losses are due to quality defects in the potatoes. Around one-third of all potatoes with quality defects are rejected owing to their potential harmfulness to human health, whilst two-thirds of these potatoes are rejected because they fail to meet the freshness and quality criteria of trading partners and consumers.
Potato losses in Switzerland from field to fork