1.9m tonnes of food wasted in UK grocery supply chain

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Some 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK grocery supply chain, a report by food waste prevention company WRAP has found. The company has said that tackling food waste could save the industry up to £300 million a year.

It said that currently 700,000 tonnes of material that could have become waste is being redistributed to people (47,000 tonnes) or diverted to animal feed.

“[The] report, which uses new and more robust methodologies, gives us the clearest indication yet of where, and why, food surpluses and waste occur,” said Richard Swannell, director at WRAP. “Through a combination of prevention, redistribution to people and diversion to animal feed, the grocery supply chain could, in the next ten years, almost halve its avoidable food waste, from 2009 when we first started work in this area.

“This will significantly contribute to delivering the Courtauld 2025 food waste prevention target.”

The research also found that the food manufacturing and retail sectors are ‘highly efficient’ – with less than five per cent food surplus and waste. According to the report, a further 450,000 tonnes of food waste yearly could be prevented by 2025 – the equivalent of 23 per cent compared to current total food waste levels.

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