Fresh Produce

The issues

Fresh produce is a priority sector for Courtauld 2025 which WRAP is tackling with industry experts through a whole supply chain approach, from farm to fork.

WRAP’s report on the Quantification of food surplus and waste in the grocery supply chain identified over 170,000 tonnes of food waste in the fresh produce supply chain every year. This is in addition to the c.500,000 tonnes in hospitality and food service and c.2.5 million tonnes of household food waste generated every year.


Food waste in primary production is an emerging opportunity for better supply chain collaboration which is relevant to all agricultural sectors, and particularly fresh produce. WRAP is working to understand better the scale and causes of this waste.


Discover more about WRAP’s work tackling food waste in primary production.



Our research

What is WRAP doing?

WRAP is working with major retailers, hospitality and food service companies, fresh produce suppliers and growers, as well as trade bodies including the ADHB, LEAF, the NFU and the Fresh Produce Consortium. Together, we are identifying opportunities to deliver cost savings, better resource efficiency and food waste reductions.


As well as collective action, we also work with businesses through targetted one-to-one engagement, embedding best practice in everyday business.


Here's just a selection of our latest work:

Target, Measure, Act

Food surplus and waste measurement and reporting guidelines: Fresh produce

These guidelines provide additional recommendations for fresh produce businesses (growers, packers, processors, service providers), based on the specific operational considerations and challenges relevant to this sector. They clarify and contextualise the requirements from the UK Guidelines for Measuring and Reporting Food Surplus and Waste (UK Guidelines) , for the fresh produce sector. It is consistent with the FLW Standard and supports the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

To measure and report your food waste a data capture sheet and reporting template are available here.

Fresh produce guidance

Asda using forecasting tool to track yields, under Courtauld 2025

Under Courtauld 2025, Asda’s sourcing arm IPL is adding to its commercial intelligence with expertise from Agrimetrics and NIAB the National Institute of Agricultural Botany to help its growers use a new yield forecasting tool, Growers now use smart phones to upload photos of their crop throughout the season and intelligent software uses these images to assess the crop’s potential, helping to maximise crop utilisation.

Argimetrics yield tracking

Working collaboratively to address bagged lettuce waste

Fresh produce specialists Agrial Fresh Produce, their grower Len Wright Salads and customers Pizza Hut Restaurants and The Co-op, have already been working collaboratively to address waste in the bagged lettuce supply chain. This pilot is looking at improving communications around planning, forecasting and delivery - a key action in reducing primary production waste, as well as investigating opportunities to give customers more value by extending shelf life.

Reducing salad waste

Reducing stawberry waste through improved growing systems

A common cause of strawberry waste is product not meeting customer specifications, because of fruit being misshapen or suffering from pest or disease damage. One way growers can manage this is through improved growing systems, however the investment costs can be a barrier to this. The Co-op, IPL and Asda are tackling this together through a demonstration project that provides growers with data on investment costs and the returns they can make.

Reducing strawberry waste

What can my organisation do?

Optimise packaging

The supply chain has an important role to help reduce food waste. In addition to improved portioning and smart packaging, providing clear date labelling and storage guidance is key to helping individuals use food in time – the greatest reason for food waste in fresh produce.

Guidance published by WRAP and produced in association with the Food Standards Agency and Defra, sets out best practice in the choice and application of date labels and storage advice.

Best practice on food date labelling and storage advice

This document provides guidance on how to apply and use food date labels and how UK law applies
throughout the ‘life cycle’ of a food product (that is from initial product design and development right through
to sale or redistribution).

Read the guide

Uncut, packed fruit and vegetable guidance

This visual guide has been produced to help illustrate examples of how
the recommendations in this guidance could look, be applied and, specifically, which labelling and design features are most effective in helping consumers reduce fresh, uncut packed fruit and vegetable waste.

Read the guide

On-pack recycling label

This document provides guidance on how to apply and use food date labels and how UK law applies
throughout the ‘life cycle’ of a food product (that is from initial product design and development right through
to sale or redistribution).

Find out more

Fresher for Longer

Small changes in behaviour and continued innovation around packaging keeps food fresher for longer, saves money and reduces waste.

Read the guide

Optimise quality specifications

Setting good specifications is essential to delivering customer value. Using this guide can help you identify what your customers really value and optimise your supply chain to deliver it.

Optimise quality specifications: WRAP's work

WRAP is working with retailers and manufacturers, logistics and redistribution organisations, together with industry bodies, to identify ways of increasing the beneficial use of surplus food.

Read the guide

Surplus Food Redistribution

Surplus food fit for human consumption can be redistributed to commercial organisations or charities such as Plan Zheroes, FareShare and Foodcycle. If not suitable for human consumption, investigate whether it can be sent for animal feed.

Surplus food redistribution: WRAP's work

WRAP is working with retailers and manufacturers, logistics and redistribution organisations, together with industry bodies, to identify ways of increasing the beneficial use of surplus food.

Find out more

Surplus food redistribution: Case studies

Case studies detailing the many businesses that have taken steps to develop innovative partnerships to facilitate an increase in the amount of surplus food they redistribute.

Read our case studies

Recycle

Where redistribution is not possible, consider sending food waste for anaerobic digestion or even composting instead of disposal to landfill.

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process by which organic matter such as animal or food waste is broken down to produce renewable energy and biofertiliser.

Find out more

Composting

Compost from green waste and food waste provides a valuable opportunity for local authorities, commercial organisations and householders to divert organic waste away from landfill.

Find out more

Our resources

By working with WRAP your organisation can improve processes, find new techniques and work toward implementing best practice in your supply chain.

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