International food and drink group Princes has published food waste data from its UK operations, reporting that just 1.25% of its total food production tonnage was wasted in the year to March 2019.

Of the 20,768 tonnes of waste generated, 17,911 tonnes (86%) was sent to anaerobic digestion to be converted to energy. 2,724 tonnes (13%) was used for animal feed, and 75 tonnes (0.4%) was redistributed for human consumption.

The company also reported that none of its UK manufacturing sites sent any waste at all to landfill.

Princes Group has also formally adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 – ‘By 2030, to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.’

David McDiarmid, corporate relations director at Princes, said: “The vast majority of the food and drink we supply are ambient shelf stable groceries which lend themselves to low levels of wastage in our factories and in the home. While our UK waste figures are good in terms of industry standards we are far from complacent and know there is more we can do to reduce waste in our operations and ensure our food waste is redistributed in the best manner possible.

“The SDG 12.3 goal asks us to consider waste from field to fork so we will continue to encourage our global suppliers to tackle food waste in their own operations, and are committed through our brands such as Princes, Napolina and Crosse & Blackwell to communicate more to consumers on food waste in the home. It’s crucial all parties play a role in encouraging a sustainable future for our food supply.

“We would ask that businesses of all sizes take steps to target, measure and act on reducing their food waste. As well as the moral imperative of reducing good food going to waste, there is the carbon footprint of food production to consider, also businesses should see their waste as an untapped commercial asset.”