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Food waste prevention and mitigation: Circular supply chain and marketing strategies (PhD in Business Studies)

Cardiff Business School

Dr Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues , Dr Roberta De Angelis , Dr Nicole Koenig-Lewis Monday, May 31, 2021 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Food waste has attracted the attention of Western governments and organisation across the food industry. In the UK, a total of 36 million tonnes of food ends up in landfills every year, worth more than €11.7 bn, according to WRAP, a British charity (IFCO, 2020). Food waste generated from farm to bin is an important contributor to climate change. Indeed, the CO2e emitted because of food waste is greater than CO2e emitted by most of countries, except for the US and China (Food Loss + Waste Protocol, 2016). Applying a circular economy approach in the food supply chain can contribute to reaching climate targets and reduce depletion of finite natural resources (EMF, 2019). The adoption of circular business models championed by leading grocery retailers could mitigate CO2e emissions generated from food decomposition and wasted food transportation. Food waste could be reduced considerably by improving the consumer consumption data grocery retailers have. Inbound supply chain processes can also play key role in food waste reduction. This PhD project focuses on investigating the role of consumers and grocery retailers in food waste reduction. The project will be using mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods. With a focus on food waste and the UK grocery retail sector, this PhD project aims to explore; a) businesses approaches seeking to prevent and mitigate food waste generated from farm to bin; b) marketing strategies and tools that can incentivise food waste prevention and mitigation at the supplier, the retailer and the consumer household, and c) their supply chain implications.


EMF (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). 2019. Cities and Circular Economy for Food (2019). Retrieved February 2021 from

Food Loss + Waste Protocol (2016), Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard,

IFCO (2019), Food waste by country: who's the biggest waster?

Keywords: Food waste reduction, circular business models, retail supply chains and circular marketing strategies

Desired applicant profile:

  • open to mixed-methods research
  • undergraduate-level knowledge of business statistics
  • awareness of supply chain management, marketing and sustainability

Funding Notes

This project is not funded, applications from self-funded home and international students are welcome. Outstanding applicants from ANY country may be considered for one of the available University scholarships. The start date is 1st October 2021.
Applications are open until 31st May 2021, however if sufficient applications are received we reserve the right to close the application early.
For more information about scholarships, entry requirements and application process please visit our website: View Website


When applying, please specify the project title and supervisor of this project and whether you are self-funded or are applying for funding (within or external to the University).
The application must contain the following documents:
1. Covering letter: The covering letter must name the project being applied for and should be addressed to the supervisor. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
5. Research Proposal: The proposal should build directly on the project description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
• Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
• An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study;
• Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
• A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic);
• Bibliographic references
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (

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