In total, 90 retailers, manufacturers, producers, hospitality and restaurant chains across Britain have committed to a roadmap that aims to eliminate the food waste that currently costs the UK around £20 billion every year.
The government’s waste reduction body Wrap, and the food and grocery charity IGD joined together to publish the roadmap for businesses — which lays out a series of milestones for businesses on how to cut out waste at every point in the supply chain.
"I congratulate the businesses stepping up to the plate in this ground-breaking commitment,” said environment minister Thérèse Coffey. “The UK is a global leader in measuring food waste and supporting international food waste prevention projects.”
“It is through government, consumers, and businesses working together that we will continue to tackle the unacceptable issue of unnecessary food waste,” she added.
National Farmers’ Union present Minette Batters added: “It’s very clear that a whole supply chain effort is required to effectively reduce our food waste and it is incredibly positive to see the entirely of the industry throw its weight behind this initiative.”
A world’s first - 90 of the UK’s largest retailers, food producers, manufacturers, hospitality & food service companies support the #FoodWasteReductionRoadmap committing to #TargetMeasureAct on UK food waste. https://t.co/EQhjmEkblGpic.twitter.com/asSIv5ECQ6— IGD Comms Team (@Comms_IGD) September 25, 2018
The roadmap was announced at the Champions 12.3 event in New York on Tuesday — referring to the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which calls for action to halve global per capita food waste.
The roadmap aims to have all major UK retailers, and half of the country’s top 250 producers and suppliers, signed up to taking action on food waste by September 2019. They will be measuring their waste, reporting the results in a great step forward for transparency, and making moves to eliminate the waste.
By 2026, the aim is to have 250 of the country’s leading food businesses signed up to cutting out waste.
Some recommended actions reportedly include getting rid of “best before” dates on fresh food, donating more to food banks and charities, and launching more initiatives like “wonky” produce.
Another is to stop buy-one-get-one-free schemes on fresh produce to discourage shoppers from buying more fresh produce than they can eat before it goes off.
The voluntary scheme hopes to ensure that Britain meets the UN Global Goal to halve global food waste, from the home, shops, and production and supply chain.
Companies will also reportedly work to help consumers cut food waste — with waste currently costing the average Brit more than £300 a year.