UK pledges to halve food waste by 2030

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK in major voluntary collaboration to tackle food waste ©iStock/Christian Araujo
UK in major voluntary collaboration to tackle food waste ©iStock/Christian Araujo

Related tags: Food waste, SGD 12.3

The UK’s largest retailers, food producers, manufacturers and food service companies have committed to halve food waste – which costs the UK £20bn (€22.5bn) annually – by 2030.

Ninety organisations have signed to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, jointly developed by research and training charity IGD and environmental NGO WRAP.

The roadmap covers the farm-to-fork supply chain and spells out actions large businesses will take to cut waste, both within their own organisations and to support suppliers. The Roadmap also looks at how businesses can engage with UK shoppers to reduce spoilage at a consumer level.

The initiative has gathered broad-based support from government, trade bodies and industry, Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, said. “Together, WRAP and IGD have mobilised industry leaders to create a bold sector-wide Roadmap, showing clearly what UK businesses must do. This Roadmap is hugely ambitious.”

It takes a “target, measure, act​” approach that proponents said is “vital​” to achieve national policy targets and objectives on food waste, including Courtauld 2025 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

Helen Munday, chief scientific officer and director of food safety, science and sustainability at industry body Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said that food waste reduction is a “key target” for FDF members. “FDF is pleased to support this ground-breaking initiative and in particular the emphasis on all businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste in a consistent way.”

While 90 large companies – including the majority of retail multiples and some of the country’s largest food manufacturers - have signed up to the initiative, WRAP and IGD are urging others to join.

By September 2019, the first major milestone on the Roadmap, the aim is to have 50% of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste. The initiatives hopes all 250 of the country’s largest companies will be doing so by 2026.

To support businesses in their efforts to tackle food waste, the Roadmap is published with a wide range of new resources​ to enable them to act consistently. 

“The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap presents a huge opportunity for every business within the UK food and grocery industry to provide reassurance for shoppers. UK shoppers see industry food waste at the top of their priorities and by working together with the total food chain, we’re delighted to have secured a world first, with the UK leading the way in this important area,”​ Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD said.

Related topics: Business, Food waste, Market Trends

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