Food waste reduction roadmap | progress to date and expectations for 2020 and beyond?
In the UK, the hospitality and food sector wastes 18% of the food they purchase, creating around 1.1 million tonnes of food waste each year, whilst households generate 4.5 million tonnes every year, costing the average family £700. Although food waste reduction, prevention and minimisation have all been on the policy radar, efforts to actively reduce food waste have never been a top priority.
Progress has been made in the UK in tackling food waste through the work of UK food businesses signed up to the UK Waste & Resources Action Programmes (WRAPs) voluntary agreement – the Courtauld Commitment 2025 – which last year reported a UK food waste reduction of 480,000 tonnes between the years 2015 to 2018.
To help support delivery of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 objectives, WRAP & the IGD developed the UK Food Waste Reduction (FWR) Roadmap – officially launched in September 2018. The FWR Roadmap provides free guidance, a toolkit and generic reporting templates to help large UK food businesses implement a best practice ‘Target, Measure & Act’ approach in their UK operations to reduce food surplus and waste.
The overall FWR Roadmap target, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 objective, is to ‘halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels, as well as to reduce food loss during production and supply’. For the UK to achieve this objective we will need to reduce food waste by 5.1 million tonnes over the next decade.
So far, more than 200 large UK food businesses have committed to the FWR Roadmap and have to date collectively reduced UK food waste by over 7% and saving over £100 million of food, reducing their costs and that of their supply chain. SUEZ have signed up as one of the early partners from the resources and waste sector to this initiative, as an enabling partner, we’re keen to support our customers to drive forward better food waste prevention measures in target sectors – and save them money!
Our panel of experts, from across the UK food waste system, will discuss this initiative, reflecting on plans they have in place and targets they’ve set and have met, and consider where the big wins are in terms of reducing food surplus and waste in the short, medium and longer term. With 2023 fast approaching and its targets for separate food waste collections from households and businesses across England and 2030 looming as the end to landfill for food waste in England, there has never been a greater imperative to look at your own sites and processes and to plan your transition to a food waste-free future.
Chaired by – Dr Adam Read, External Affairs Director, SUEZ UK
Ashley Robb, Business Engagement Specialist, on behalf of WRAP
Ben Harding, Growth Team Leader – UK & Ireland – Food & Beverage and Mid-Markets, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions
Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager Commercial Team – Food Policy, Co-operative Group
Joanna Dyson, Head of Food, FareShare