Prime minister Theresa May has committed the government to reducing food supply chain emissions and waste, as part of a 25 year Environmental Plan.
The government’s aim is to cut by one fifth the greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK, and also per capita UK food waste by 2025.
“This will set the UK on a path to meet an even more ambitious UN target – halving per capita global food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030.
The work is being done through The Courtauld Commitment 2025, a voluntary agreement involving organisations along the agri-food supply chain from producer to consumer.
Key issues include reducing waste from consumers by for example rolling out guidance on applying ‘Use By’ dates only where there is a food safety reason to use it, and looking across supply chains to find efficiencies.
“Contracting parties – including food businesses and local authorities – are also guided by elements of the Plan for Public Procurement and Catering Services, including the ‘balanced scorecard’ which ranks a range of relevant criteria.”
Recycling food waste is also a priority. The aim is that no food waste will be going to landfill by 2030.
“Many local authorities have introduced separate collection of food waste and we will work to support an increase in numbers so that the amount of food waste sent to landfill continues to decline. We will also take action to support the redistribution of unsold edible and nutritious surplus stock from food businesses to individuals in need. As a starting point, WRAP announced at the end of last year a new £0.5m fund for charities who redistribute surplus food from food businesses to those in need.”