Putting Global Food Waste on the Map

The connection between food waste and global warming isn’t often talked about, but the impact of food waste on the environment is devastating, and the most wasted food category in UK homes is fresh produce.

Every year, fresh vegetable and salad waste from UK homes tops 1.6 million tonnes, of which 80% could have been eaten. This costs citizen £2.7 billion. Furthermore, nearly one million tonnes of fresh fruit faces an agonising death by fruit bowl, at a cost of £1 billion.

All this fresh produce can potentially waste away and produce methane, and that contributes towards greenhouse gases going into the environment and warming the planet.

The shocking fact is, were food waste a country its greenhouse gas emissions would be third only to that of China, and the USA. Food waste generates about 8% of global GHG emissions every year.

It’s a big deal!

The good news is we have it within our power to stop food waste, and the fresh produce sector is a critical player in making this happen. What’s important to remember is that while these huge statistics seem ungovernable, it’s actions by individual businesses and trade bolides that are going to bring about change.

The power is in our hands.

A little over one year on from the launch of WRAP and IGD’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, more than 160 food businesses from across the UK have committed to Target, Measure and Act on food waste. This represents more than half of UK food industry by turnover, and they are joined by 29 organisations including major trade bodies, and redistribution organisations.

The purpose of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is to empower businesses with the information, resources and skills to tackle food waste in their operations. It costs nothing to sign up to the Roadmap, and there are no costs to use any of the resources.

Photo source: WRAP

It’s all free.

We want to work with you, to help you Target-Measure-Act and reduce food waste within your business, and across your supply chain.

To good to be true?

We need to act on food waste and while WRAP produces guidance and resources to help businesses implement practices proven to work, it’s down to businesses like yours to take the first step.

Together, the activities of all businesses involved in the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap will contribute directly towards the target of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 12.3, to halve food waste by 2030.

The Roadmap is a world-leading initiative covering the whole chain, from field to fork, and by taking part you are directly contributing towards this global ambition.

Avoiding food waste has obvious economic benefits for a business, but also delivers social and environmental improvements. Saving the resources used to produce food which isn’t eaten, or diverting surplus to the less-fortunate members of society, are both great outcomes.

Consumers too are far more aware of and more interested in the environmental and social performance of business, and there is interest from big business and regulators too.

The process isn’t onerous, it won’t take hours and will quickly become part of your usual business practices. There are sector-specific guidance designed for fresh produce businesses and a range of case studies to show you what others are already doing.

So why not get in touch through the FPC or directly with WRAP at foodwasteroadmap@wrap.org.uk to find out how to start benefitting today.