The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement: Taking Action on Waste (final report)

10th January 2017

The final report of achievements by signatories to the Hospitality and Foods Service Agreement (HaFSA).

Key points
Food and packaging waste reduced by 11%, exceeding the 5% target
24,000 tonnes of food saved from being thrown away, worth £67 million
Redistribution of surplus food doubled to 760 tonnes (=1.5 million meals)
Recycling rates increased from 42% to 56%

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA) was an ambitious, three-year voluntary agreement developed by WRAP with the industry, for the industry, and supported by all UK governments. It was launched in 2012 with the aim of reducing waste and increase recycling rates within the sector in the UK. Over 230 leading signatories and supporters signed up to support these aims, covering approximately 25% of the UK sector (calculated by food and drink sales, including wholesale and distribution). A number of these organisations are continuing to work with WRAP under the Courtauld Commitment 2025 voluntary agreement.

WRAP developed and delivered the HaFSA using funds from the governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The HaFSA had two targets, for prevention and waste management, which were owned by WRAP and collectively delivered by the signatories.

Prevention target: To reduce food and associated packaging waste by 5% by the end of 2015. This was against a 2012 baseline and was measured by CO2 emissions (CO2e) saved.

What has been achieved?

There has been a reduction in CO2e of 11% against the baseline of the Agreement. This is a reduction of over 80,000 tonnes of CO2e and 31,000 tonnes of both food and packaging waste. The amount of surplus food being sent for redistribution has more than doubled, from 360 to over 760 tonnes. Over the lifetime of the HaFSA, the estimated weight of food waste avoided by the signatories was 24,000 tonnes with a value of £67 million (assuming a food waste cost of £2,775 per tonne, see WRAP’s True Cost of Waste in Hospitality and Food Service report). This is equivalent to 48 million meals (assuming a meal weighs 500g).

Waste management target: Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.

What has been achieved?

This target has not been met in full, but there has been an increase in the rates of recycling of both food and packaging waste. Overall, the rate of recycling for both food and packaging has grown by 14 percentage points to 56% over the lifetime of the agreement, an increase of one-third.

This target was very ambitious to achieve within the timescales as it was not possible in practice for some signatories to change their waste management contracts to incorporate food waste collections. What we have seen is that the recycling rate of food waste has increased by more than half over the lifetime of the HaFSA and the recycling rate of packaging is at almost 70%.