Environment

The UK food industry has adopted a revolutionary new food waste plan

All major supermarkets, alongside Nandos and Coca-Cola, are on a list of 90 firms which have pledged to halve the amount of food binned by 2030

food waste Dano Flickr

Every year, the UK chucks away £20 billion-worth of perfectly good food – now 90 businesses are leading the fight to bring that number down with the world’s first Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

Developed by grocery research charity IGD and waste reduction body the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the roadmap aims to show large business how they can reduce food waste in their own operation and suppliers from field to fork.

It aims to slash the number of binned grub – currently amounting to more than £300 per UK citizen – by half and has already achieved considerable support from 90 of the UK’s largest food businesses.

All major supermarkets have pledged to follow the roadmap while restaurants like Nando’s and Pizza Hut as well as production giants like Nestle, Coca-Cola, Quorn and Muller are also on board.

Defra and the Scottish and Welsh governments have also signed up with plans to get half of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses following the Target, Measure, Act mantra by September next year with all 250 to following suit by 2026.

The roadmap will play a significant role in the UK’s ability to meet their UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving the amount of food waste

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, explains “This roadmap is hugely ambitious, and I’m delighted that the UK is the first country anywhere to set a nationwide plan towards delivering its part in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. There are many businesses working hard already, but many more need to focus on food waste.”

Food waste increases the strain on farmers to produce enough food to meet demand. And with Theresa May forced to quell fears over the summer that food in fields and on shelves would have to be stockpiled in the case of a no-deal Brexit, it is a crucial time to make the most of the food that the country already has.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “I congratulate the businesses stepping up to the plate in this ground-breaking commitment. 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.”

Next week The Big Issue will be tucking into food waste and other culinary conundrums with our Food Special, on sale from vendors and The Big Issue Shop on October 1.

Image: Dano/Flickr

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