Speaking in New York in his role as chairman of Champions 12.3, a group put together in support of the UN’s sustainable development goal targeting food waste, Lewis will issue a call to action for the food sector to step up its efforts to cut food waste.
“Every year, a third of the world’s food goes to waste. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 billion tonnes of food being thrown away and we think that’s simply not right,” Lewis will say.
In particular, the retail executive wants food companies to initiate a process of regularly reporting on levels of food waste within their operations.
“We hope every country, major city and company involved in the food supply chain publishes their own food waste data, so that together we can take targeted action to reduce waste. We believe that what gets measured gets managed. Ultimately, the only way to tackle food waste is to understand the challenge - to know where in the supply chain food is wasted.”
Significant supplier commitment
Tesco became the first UK retailer to publish the amount of food wasted in its operations in 2013. The retailer noted that it is over 70% of the way towards its target that no food, safe for human consumption, goes to waste.
The company is extending this approach to its global operations. Tesco published figures for its Republic of Ireland and Central European businesses for the first time last year.
The group is also working with its suppliers to build collaboration and consensus on how to tackle food waste.
Addressing the Champions 12.3 event today, Lewis will reveal that twenty-seven of the UK retailer’s largest own label suppliers as well as wholesaler Booker – which merged with Tesco earlier this year – have now committed to publish their food waste data for the first time.
Ten of Tesco’s largest branded suppliers including Mars, Unilever and General Mills, will commit to target, measure and act and publish their food waste data within the next 12 months.
The 27 own label suppliers who will be publishing their data are:
- A Gomez LTD
- Espersen A/S
- Allied Bakeries
- AMT Fruit Ltd
- Arla Foods
- Bakkavor Group
- Branston Limited
- Cargill Meats Europe / Avara Foods
- Cranswick PLC
- Glinwell plc
- Greenyard Frozen UK
- G's Fresh
- Hilton Foods
- Kepak Group
- Kerry Foods UK & ROI
- Moy Park
- Muller Milk & Ingredients
- Noble Foods Limited
- Premier Foods
- Richard Hochfeld Ltd
- Samworth Brothers Ltd
- Seachill UK Ltd.
- Yeo Valley Farms (Production) Ltd.
The 10 branded suppliers making UK or global commitments to target, measure and act to reduce food waste, both in their own operations and from farm to fork, are:
- General Mills
- Coca Cola
- KP Snacks
Champions 12.3 is a coalition of experts from government, business, research institutions and civil society that is dedicated to accelerating progress towards SGD12.3. Under this goal, the ambition is to half global per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030 and reduce loss along the supply chain, during production and post-harvest.