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Japanese Companies Go High-Tech in the Battle Against Food Waste


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Food on the shelves in the Lawson Open Innovation center.

Japanese convenience store chain Lawson is using artificial intelligence to identify goods on shelves that go unsold or fall short of demand.

Credit: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

Japanese firms are accelerating the use of advanced technology to combat food waste and reduce costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Convenience store chain Lawson is using artificial intelligence (AI) from U.S. company DataRobot to identify goods on shelves that go unsold or fall short of demand.

Meanwhile, multinational brewing and distilling company Suntory Beverage & Food is testing AI from Fujitsu to ascertain if inventory has been damaged in shipping.

Suntory hopes the AI will reduce the return of goods by 30% to 50%, slash food waste costs, and yield a common standard for use by other food manufacturers and shipping firms.

Other businesses have partnered with food firms in developing new technological platforms to reduce food waste, in tandem with global initiatives to meet sustainable development goals.

From Reuters
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