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Leading Supermarkets And Manufacturers Call On Government To Take Action On Food Waste

Anti-food waste organisation Too Good To Go, in partnership with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), has published an open letter signed by over 30 leading companies from the UK’s food, retail, and manufacturing sectors, advocating for mandatory public food waste reporting.


Photo by Emmet-Pixels

Signatories of the letter, addressed to Steve Barclay – Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs – include nearly all of the UK’s major supermarkets, as well as Bidfood, Compass, Innocent Drinks, Danone, Nestlé, Samworth Brothers, Yoplait, and others.


With more than a third of all food produced going to waste, the sector is calling for urgency in tackling the issue. Food waste contributes 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and pre and post-farm gate food waste costs £21.8bn annually to the UK economy.


While acknowledging the progress made under the Courtauld Commitment and other initiatives, the companies involved emphasised the necessity of mandatory reporting to drive meaningful change and encourage more action to be taken across the industry – through more data-driven strategies, driving efficiencies, and fostering collaboration and economic growth.


“We’re delighted to see the strong level of industry support for the introduction of mandatory food waste reporting”, said Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go.


“The stark reality is that a staggering 40% of all food produced globally goes to waste. In 2024 there is no room for half-hearted measures or commitments a decade away. The government has an opportunity to lead the way in the fight against food waste by introducing mandatory food waste reporting, and we hope it will seize this chance.”


Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the BRC, added: “Mandatory Food Waste reporting is a key step in reducing food waste, helping retailers to understand their waste hotspots and where surplus food can be redistributed. While most retailers already report voluntarily through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, mandatory reporting will enable greater transparency across the supply chain. Retailers will continue to engage with the Government to ensure that the system works for all stakeholders and that it aligns across the four UK nations.”


Meanwhile, Hannah Cornick, Head of Sustainability & Social Innovation at Danone UK & Ireland, commented: “At Danone, we think reporting on food waste is extremely valuable – because what gets measured, gets managed. In the UK, we already report our figures to WRAP on an annual basis, tracking our progress towards 50% reduction in food waste by 2030. Mandatory reporting would help improve the visibility of food waste right across the industry, highlighting it as both a business and wider sustainability issue that we should all be focused on managing.”


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