Retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, charities and other industry bodies have joined forces to explore and support ways to increase the amount of surplus food made available for delivery to those in need, building on the good work already being undertaken.
The new industry working group met last week (24 January) for the first time to discuss the current systems, and assess possible solutions that could increase the UK’s food redistribution, in order to start building a plan of action.
Andy Dawe, Head of Food and Drink at WRAP and Chair of the industry working group, said:
“Preventing waste arising not only saves money in tough economic times but also provides environmental savings. Where there is a surplus of food it is important to make sure it’s being used in the best possible way. The cost of food is rising, and this means that some of the most vulnerable groups in society sometimes struggle to afford food. Increasing food redistribution will help the poorest in society and prevent perfectly good food from going to waste, along with all that went into making it.
“By tackling this with key players across the supply chain we can collectively discover what works and what doesn’t to find the best solutions that we hope will lead to increased redistribution.”
Progress from the group will be provided later in the year.
Resource management Minister Lord de Mauley said:
“Preventing food waste protects the environment and makes good business sense. Surplus food is an inevitable part of a secure supply chain and this is an excellent means of putting it to good use. I welcome the launch of this working group and look forward to hearing of its progress later this year.”
Notes to editors:
Representing the sector and participating in the first working group meeting were:
• 2 Sisters Food Group
• Booker Ltd
• Boots UK
• British Retail Consortium - representing the interests of the sector
• Company Shop
• Food and Drink Federation - representing the interests of the sector
• His Church
• innocent drinks
• The Co-operative
• Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC
• Waste & Resources Action Programme
Baseline data – there is currently limited baseline data for the amount of food redistributed from back of store. Part of WRAP’s work for the group is to research this and develop the data.
WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.
Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
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