Meat

The issues

Research has consistently shown meat to be a critical category with regard to GHG emissions.

Global agreements, such as the Paris Agreement and SDGs, are explicit on the need to involve business in delivering their targets by working along the supply chain, tracking productivity metrics, benchmarking and collaborate efforts on innovations in areas like feed.

Alongside losses in the supply chain, households in the UK throw away 240,000 tonnes of beef, pork and poultry products (not counting bones and fat) on an annual basis. This is over 10% of purchases – and a huge waste of resources and value for customers.

With food waste increasingly of media and political interest, there is a real opportunity for businesses to take action, cut costs from avoidable losses and differentiate themselves from the competition.

What can my organisation do?

Under C2025 WRAP has convened a Meat Working Group, which brings together representatives from across the value chain to tackle priority areas that require a collaborative approach.

This group includes leading brands, retailers, manufacturers and trade associations from the signatory pool but also key organisations within the industry such as AHDB and NFU.

Together we are currently working on key action areas:

Target, Measure, Act

Food surplus and waste measurement and reporting guidelines: Meat processing

These guidelines provide recommendations for meat processing businesses (abattoirs & cutting plant), 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 meat 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.

Meat processing guidance

On-farm Resource Efficiency

A significant challenge for this sector is in finding ways to increase adoption of best practices to improve on-farm productivity and resource efficiency.

A key step forward has been for retailers and processors to come together and agree measures that would be a win-win for efficiency, productivity and returns for farmers.

Agriculture in Courtauld 2025

Carcass Utilisation and Getting Most Value From By-Products

WRAP is supporting a project in Wales to understand the current destinations for red meat products and by-products from abattoirs; and to help identify opportunities to improve efficiency, maximise carcase use and reduce the disposal of by-products, through e.g. better separation practices and NPD.

The group will also be considering the best ways to achieve greater consistency in food waste measuring and reporting, and a way to enable better cross-sector benchmarking to improve performance.

Getting Most Value From By-Product

Consumer Waste

WRAP’s evidence shows that a key challenge for meat products is to reduce consumer confusion on how to store and freeze/re-freeze meat. 10% of purchases are wasted in the home, and the principal reasons are not using in time and having prepared too much. Evidence shows that better consistency and awareness would reduce confusion - e.g. on-pack ‘freeze before date mark’; and guidance on freezing leftovers and part-used packs.

Working with this sector group and food safety experts, WRAP has agreed best practice guidance for on-pack messaging and developing a path to increase adoption

Love Food Hate Waste

Our work in action

Our experts contribute the know-how and evidence-based tools that will help deliver international sustainability goals.

Resource Maps

Resource maps
for fresh meat

This research highlights the extent to which fresh meat is wasted or lost in the UK’s food supply chain. It is estimated that the meat industry could save about £110 m annually through application of commercial improvements based on the recommendations outlined in this report.

Beef Whole Chain Mapping

Opportunities for the beef and pork supply chains through whole chain mapping

WRAP worked with a number of businesses and other organisations to review evidence for opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and improve efficiency across beef supply chains. WRAP found that there are opportunities to both improve efficiency and generate better returns without compromising commercial performance.

Learn more

Case Studies

£1 million in savings by working together with suppliers

Morrisons identified potential procurement savings of over £1 million, achievable by working together with its suppliers. Having identified in-take variability as a ‘hotspot’ in the value chain, the focus of the project was on quantifying the cost and opportunities for reduction.

Read Morrisons Case Study

Co-op and Tulip make annual retail savings of £395,000

Annual retail savings of £395,000, with significant further opportunities, were achieved in this whole chain collaboration project between Co-operative Food, its pork supplier, Tulip and their pig producers.

Read Co-op and Tulip Case Study

Sainsbury's extend product life to prevent food waste

Sainsbury’s and Cranswick worked together to examine the relationship between increasing product life and reducing amount of waste produced in store.

Read Sainsbury's Case Study

Asda encourage consumers to ‘Love Your Leftovers’

“Our latest research found that nearly a third of people throw away leftovers rather than re-using them! And 20% admit to giving their leftover food to the family pet. So each pack also has a recipe suggestion, including fajitas, risotto and curry, on the back for any leftovers – so no chicken goes to waste!” Karen Todd, Head of Zero Waste, Asda Stores Ltd.

Read ASDA Case Study

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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