Limiting food loss and food waste

Orkel’s focus on food loss

Through Orkel’s social media channels and customer interactions, we are always on a mission to spread awareness on food loss and waste reduction. Since introducing the first agricultural compactor to the world market, our core value has been to increase forage quality while reducing food loss.

Among many, Orkel technology contribute to fulfilling two of the UN’s sustainability goals: Goal 2 of Zero Hunger, and Goal 12 of Responsible Consumption and Production.

Curious to how Orkel contributes in the fight against food loss? Keep reading to learn more about our technology and how it assures that farmers are producing more with less!

But first, what is food loss?

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Landfill. Photo: Tom Fisk

The Global Food Loss

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 1/3 of all food produced, constituting to 1,3 billion tons a year, is lost or goes to waste. The WWF estimates that food loss and food waste costs the global economy $940 billion per year, despite there being nearly a billion people who go hungry today.

Securing food safety

We all have a responsibility to limit unnecessary food loss and food waste. Distinguishing between the terms, Food Loss considers the amount of food lost due to decisions and actions made by food producers, while Food Waste considers the amount of food wasted due to decisions and actions made by retailers, food service providers and consumers.

In order to secure food safety for the coming generations, it is crucial that both producers and consumers acknowledge the issue and take measures to limit food loss and food waste as much as possible!

Now that we have a foundation to understanding the world’s food loss issue, we want to redirect focus to how Orkel can be of assistance in limiting these losses. Below we will be discussing four topics:

  • Storage losses
  • Bunker losses
  • Handling- and transport losses
  • Feeding losses.

Storage Losses

Within agriculture, traditional storage solutions essentially offer one large compartment where all the forage is stored over a longer period. When it is time to initiate feeding by opening the compartment, all forage is exposed to oxygen, initiating a degrading of nutrients and spoilage of the fodder. This results in less nutrient-rich forage for your animals, while increasing the amount of food lost. 

High density bales for limiting food loss

Choosing Orkel’s high-density round bales over traditional storage drastically reduces the food losses as the forage is compartmentalized; After opening and feeding a bale, the remaining bales stay closed, retaining the fodder’s high quality without being degraded by oxygen.

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Bunker silos have from 10-30% nutrition loss.


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Round bales have 1-3% nutrition loss.

Bunker Losses

Bunker silos are one of the most widespread types of silos in use today. A bunker is essentially a trench which is filled with silage and packed tight together, this to prevent the fodder from losing quality due to oxygen degradation.

However, due to poor silo management, many bunker silos are not providing optimal conditions for storing fodder. Common errors such as overfilling silos, low packing density, inadequate sealing techniques, and poor inspection are often the source to why the bulk material deteriorates.

Losses of up to 30% of the energy content

Switching from bunker silos to Orkel high-density bales offer many advantages. In terms of food loss, studies indicate that a poorly managed bunker can suffer losses up to 30% of total bulk material, while high-density Orkel round bales limit its food loss to 1-2%.

Orkel high-density bales offer a storage solution that removes the need for extended fodder conservation, allowing farmers to spend more resources on harvesting and transportation.


The "domino effect" of bad silage conservation:

  • Silage is exposed to air
  • Yeast start to grow
  • Yeast degrade residual sugars/lactic acid
  • Highly degradable nutrients are destroyed
  • Heat is produced - pH increases
  • Bacteria grow leads to massive spoilage


CRV holland milk

Good silage conservation has huge benefits. See the results from this study by CRV Holland.

Handling- and Transport Losses

Using traditional storage solutions, all fodder is permanently stored at one location before it is requested. When the fodder is required, a portion is removed from the shielded location and transported under less optimal circumstances. 

Errors such as leaks in cargo units or improper use of vehicles result in what is referred to as livestock production loss, where small quantities of fodder are lost throughout the transfer.

Flexible storage with round bales

Orkel round bales offer a higher transportability than traditional storage, as all fodder is safely stored as high-density bales. In other words, perfect for transportation! In this way, the fodder can be moved over great distances without requiring extended fodder conservation.


Japan Dens X 2017 1Compartmentalized silage simplifies the logistics.

Baling waste for a better environment

Did you know: Orkel’s industrial compactors are used to bale household waste, where the importance of avoiding handling- and transport losses are crucial. Read our customer story from waste baling on the Azores for more info on how to avoid transport losses by baling your materials.

Feeding Losses

There are numerous reasons to why one should avoid feeding moldy, low-quality feed to cattle, one of them being that cows are rather selective regarding diet. There seems to be a common agreement that cows are picky eaters, often sorting out the preferred high-quality feed. 

As the amount of mold increases due to poor storage, the fodder becomes less palatable while suffering a decrease in energy- and nutrient content. In this scenario, cows tend to eat less than usual, leaving a surplus of fodder to be disposed of.

The cattle compensates for low forage quality

On the contrary, other studies suggest that some animals consume a greater amount of low-quality fodder than initially needed in order to make up for lost nutrition. This increased consumption suggests a link to food waste, as the feed conversion ratio increases.

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Fodder in bales retain its nutrients better.

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Cattle often sort out the high-quality feed.

cows are sensitive to low-quality fodder

Orkel’s round bales allows the fodder to retain its nutrients by limiting the possibility for mold growth. Due to cows’ sensitivity to low-quality fodder, Orkel bales allow your cows a whole high-quality meal without having to leave displeasing, moldy excess behind.

Make sure to read our article on Increasing Milk Production, describing exactly how Orkel round bales contribute to increasing farmers’ profitability by assuring optimal animal performance.

Orkel’s Corporate Social Responsibility

As long as food loss is a global issue, Orkel will continue to spread awareness on food loss and waste reduction. By doing so, we are aiming for an improved global resource management within the agricultural sector, fulfilling the two UN sustainability goals of Zero Hunger and of Responsible Consumption and Production.

You can contribute as well, by shopping responsibly and spreading awareness!

Please do not hesitate to contact us on if you have any queries. Our sales representatives are always updated on the latest market insight, eager to answer any questions regarding customized Orkel concepts designed to improve your production and profitability.