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UK food waste down by 7%, says WRAP

24 January 2020
royal albert hall

According to the latest report from sustainability not-for-profit organisation WRAP, the past three years has seen a 7% reduction per person in the UK's total food waste - that's a whopping 480,000 tonnes.

The report has come as part of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025), a voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the food system to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable.

A number of factors have been cited as contributors to this welcome reduction in food waste, including WRAP's own 'Love Food Hate Waste' campaign, improved household food waste collection across the UK and clearer labelling on food packaging.

The Courtauld Commitment doesn’t just aim to tackle food waste at a household level however. Since the commitment kicked off in 2007 they have been tackling waste across the entire supply chain – from farm gate to fridge.

Promisingly, the report also reveals that households and businesses are now tackling the problem at an accelerated rate, with a greater rate of progress from 2015 to 2018 than over the preceding five years.

Increased momentum is good news considering there is still a lot more to do in order to reach the C2025's goal of reducing the UK’s food and drink waste by 20% by 2025.

Business surplus success

One of the strategies WRAP has in common with Neighbourly is our commitment to using redistribution as one of the strategies that can be used to tackle business waste. And with a 96% increase in food surplus being redistributed between 2015 and 2018, this is clearly something that’s working.

At Neighbourly, we know that surplus food isn't a long-term solution to poverty. However, whilst as a country we waste 9.5 million tonnes of food every year, we believe we should be respectful of the world's resources by diverting as much as possible to feed people in need.

To date, Neighbourly partnerships with M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Innocent and more has meant that the platform redistributed over 9,300 tonnes, equivalent to over 22 million meals, of edible food surplus to charities and community groups across the UK and Ireland.

Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth comments: “We work with all our retailer partners to support them as they look to continually improve commercial and operating efficiency and minimise waste.

“Where surplus product is available, we have seen a growing increase in engagement with Neighbourly to help the industry redistribute even more of what they have available for donation to local good causes.”

What’s next?

If you’re a business looking to reduce waste by donating food or surplus stock find out more about how Neighbourly can help by getting in touch.

Alternatively, WRAP has developed an industry-wide food waste roadmap and toolkit that can be used to get started.