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UK food industry commits to halving food waste, as part of new ‘ambitious’ plans

25 Sep 2018
‘Ambitious’ plans to cut the UK’s annual £20 billion food waste bill have today (25 September) been revealed, as some of the country’s largest foodservice and hospitality companies and food producers sign up to a brand new Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

Co-developed by WRAP and IGD, the Roadmap already has the support of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Welsh and Scottish Governments, national trade bodies and businesses across the supply chain.

Hoping to ‘lead the way’ in cutting down the UK’s astronomical food bill –currently equating to more than £300 per citizen – it encourages businesses to adopt a ‘farm to fork’ approach.

It also outlines the actions they need to take in their own operations and with their suppliers, and how they can engage with consumers to help reduce their food waste. 

The Target-Measure-Act approach is, the companies claim, ‘vital to achieve national policy objectives and targets on food waste reduction.’ As such, it is on a mission to have “50% of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by September 2019, and all 250 companies doing so by 2026.”

WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover explained: “Together, WRAP and IGD have mobilised industry leaders to create a bold, sector-wide Roadmap, which clearly shows what UK businesses must do.

“This Roadmap is hugely ambitious and I’m delighted that the UK is the first country to set a nation-wide plan towards delivering its part in SDG 12.3. There are many businesses working hard already, but many more need to focus on food waste.

“If the food sector follows this Roadmap, it will significantly accelerate work to achieving both Courtauld 2025, and SDG12.3 targets. I urge other companies to adopt the principles laid out in the Roadmap and join the rest of the sector on this historic journey.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, added: “The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap presents a huge opportunity for every business within the UK food and grocery industry to provide reassurance for shoppers.

“UK shoppers see industry food waste at the top of their priorities and by working together with the total food chain, we’re delighted to have secured a world first, with the UK leading the way in this important area.

“As a result, I’m confident we will see continued momentum on this high profile initiative.”

To help companies meet such targets, the Roadmap is published online along with a number of resources to help them act consistently, and support existing food waste work by laying out a ‘clear collaborative journey the whole industry can follow.’

Gover is to launch The Food Waste Atlas in New York today (22 September) at the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) annual event of Champions 12.3.