According to the Courtauld Commitment 2025 milestone report, the amount of food saved by UK food manufacturers totalled a net saving of £190 million between 2015 and 2019.

Published by WRAP, a sustainable food research company, the report also found that the amount of waste generated from manufacturers had dropped by 10%, with retail food waste rising to 277,000 tonnes from 260,000 three years earlier.

Defra’s secretary, Theresa Villiers, said: “Each year, tonnes of good-quality, nutritious food needlessly goes to waste, harming our environment and climate. As a world-leader in the fight against food waste, it is good news that we are making a real difference.

“But while this is encouraging, there is more to be done – and I urge all households, individuals and businesses to consider how they can reduce their own food waste footprint to create a better world for generations to come.”

The UK’s total food waste levels fell by 480,000 tonnes, with 1.4 million tonnes of food having been saved from going to waste each year in homes since 2007.

The report attributes the decrease in household food waste to a range of factors including heightened public awareness, clearer labelling on food packaging and more local authorities offering residents separate food waste collections.

“WRAP wants the UK to go further, faster.”

Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “While the UK is a global leader in tackling food waste and supporting international food waste prevention projects, WRAP wants the UK to go further, faster.

“The organisation will continue to work closely with governments, businesses and citizens to address this throughout 2020; including the launch of a bold and far-reaching public campaign to ignite a national food conversation and complement the work of Love Food Hate Waste.”