More than 100 of the biggest players in food, including all of the UK’s major supermarkets, have signed a pledge to take ground-breaking action to drive down food waste following a call to action from the government.
FPC and big-hitters from the world of food and sustainability including Aldi, Asda, Café Nero, Co-op, Costa, FDF, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Nestlé, Ocado, UK Hospitality, Unilever, WWF and Waitrose have signed a pledge committing to help halve food waste by 2030, and raising public awareness of the issue through a week of action.
Currently in the UK an estimated 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted annually after leaving the farm gate, worth around £20 billion. It is estimated that UK householders spend £15 billion every year on food that could have been eaten but ends up being thrown away, equating to £500 a year for the average household.
Today’s announcement comes after the government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot urged organisations to ‘Step up to the Plate’ at a landmark symposium last month. The event brought together around 300 key players from various parts of the food industry for a day of targeted discussion and action.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “I am delighted to see so many UK food businesses commit to game-changing action to cut food waste, and I hope that others follow suit.
“The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but each year millions of tonnes of food is wasted.”
“I want to thank our Food Surplus and Waste Champion for inspiring business to step up to the plate. Together we will end the environmental and economic scandal that is food waste.”
Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot said: “We are pleased to see these retailers committing to change. To those retailers yet to sign the pledge – why not? You have a responsibility to step up and do your bit. “We will be highlighting those who participate and those who do not. The food waste crisis can only be solved by collective action.”
Dave Lewis, Chair of Champions 12.3 and Group CEO Tesco said:
“Today’s announcement that over 100 UK food companies have signed up to the Step up to the Plate pledge is welcome news. The next step is for all signatories to publicly report their food waste data in line with Champions 12.3 best practice.
“This will be crucial for identifying hotspots that require collective action; holding individual companies to account for the commitments they have made and for the UK delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.”
Earlier this year the government launched a £15 million game-changing scheme to tackle food waste, building on its landmark Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out how the government will introduce annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has invited organisations to apply for the second round of more than £6 million funding under government’s game-changing scheme to slash food waste. Defra would like to see larger food businesses report their food waste transparently on an annual basis in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Defra will consult later this year on mandatory reporting for larger businesses.
The government is committed to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to help halve food waste by 2030, report on progress and prioritise action.
Anyone can sign up to the ‘Step up to the Plate pledge’ through sending a signed copy of the pledge to http://www.wrap.org.uk/stepuptotheplate.
The pledge asks attendees to reduce food waste by:
setting an ambitious target to help halve food waste by 2030 in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, report on progress and prioritise action. As a food business, adopting the WRAP and IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to have half of all 250 of the UK’s largest food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by 2019.
embracing a week of action in November 2019 to highlight the changes we can all make.
using their voice and profile to empower and encourage citizens, including the younger generation
changing their habits as an individual to be Food Value Champion at work and at home, buying only what they need and eating what they buy.
The list of organisations that have already signed the ‘Step up to the Plate’ pledge are:
Alliance for Sustainability and Leadership in Education
Approved Food Limited
Bread and Butter Thing
Bread and Honey
British Frozen Food Federation
Central England Coop
Chilled Food Association
Denhay Farms LTD
Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
Direct Produce Supplies Ltd.
East End Foods
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Food and Drink Federation
Foodchain Technologies Limited
Fortnum & Mason
Fresh Produce Consortium
Gather and Gather
G’s Fresh Limited
Harper Adams University
Hilton Food Group
Industry Council for Packaging & the Environment
Institute of Grocery Distribution
Intercontinemtal Hotels Group
London Restaurant Festival
Marks and Spencer
National Farmers Union
Old Oak Primary School
Rubies In The Rubble
Smart Store Cooking
Sustainable Restaurant Association
The Packaging Federation
The Real Junk Food Project
Too Good To Go
Unilever UK and Ireland
Victoria and Albert Museum
Waste Food Solutions
World Resources International
World Wide Fund for Nature