Many of the UK’s largest food retailers, producers, manufacturers and foodservice companies have committed to milestones laid out in a new industry Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.

This has been developed with Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) and Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to further reduce the UK’s food waste problem.

The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap shows what businesses across the whole supply chain need to undertake and there are sector-specific activities underpinning the Roadmap, reflecting differences between the sectors.

For example, the hospitality and foodservice sector is responding to the specific challenges of food waste measurement within a complex and fragmented sector by developing a detailed collaborative action plan for March 2019.

It also sets out how these businesses can engage with consumers to help reduce their food waste.

By September 2019, the aim is to have 50% of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste with all 250 companies doing so by 2026.

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, explains: “Together, WRAP and IGD have mobilised industry leaders to create a bold sector-wide Roadmap, showing clearly what UK businesses must do.

“This Roadmap is hugely ambitious, and I’m delighted that the UK is the first country anywhere to set a nation-wide plan towards delivering its part in SDG 12.3.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD said: “The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap presents a huge opportunity for every business within the UK food and grocery industry to provide reassurance for shoppers.”

Industry reactions

The Roadmap has the support of the UK’s largest food trade bodies, businesses across the supply chain and Defra, Welsh and Scottish Governments.

Helen Munday, chief scientific officer and director of Food Safety, Science and Sustainability, at the Food & Drink Federation (FDF), said: “FDF is pleased to support this ground-breaking initiative and in particular the emphasis on all businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste in a consistent way.”

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president, Minette Batters said: “This is an incredibly important initiative by WRAP and IGD, and the NFU is very pleased to be able to support it.

“Farmers are the first step in the supply chain, producing the raw ingredients that make up the safe, traceable, affordable domestic food supply that helps to feed the nation.”

Businesses wishing to access the free resources and find out more about the using the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap should click here.