A forum to discuss how to cut the amount of food waste going to landfill will be launched by The Green Food Project, the joint government and industry initiative.
In its latest study Green Food Project, the project steering group said it would begin a wider more sophisticated “scoping discussion” into the sustainability of the food system in the next three months.
This would include looking at the potential for “smarter” regulation and using food waste as feed in the horticulture industry to make it more sustainable, with the aim of cutting “post harvest” food waste.
The Green Food Project is a joint initiative between government, industry and environmental partners to examine how to reconcile improving the environment and increasing food production.
The report concludes that despite a 13% drop in food household food waste since 2006, more needs to be done to cut food waste going to landfill. It highlighted the fact that for some food groups such as fruit, vegetables and root crops, there is a significant proportion of wastage before they reach the consumer.
The report said: “Understanding and tackling the drivers behind this could have positive economic and environmental benefits.”
More generally, the report highlighted the importance of sustainable food production and food waste management in fighting major challenges to public health as the population increases.
The report said: “Consumption is an important part of considering the sustainability of the food system overall because the demand for different food types influences production behaviour through price signals. As the global population increases and emerging developing nations potentially adopt a more western-style diet, the pressure on natural resources will accelerate.”
The report also acknowledged the work of existing initiatives such as Love Food Hate Waste campaign, the Courtauld Commitment and the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement.
The forum will also look at the potential for reformulation of products and substitution of high impact ingredient, how livestock feed can be made sustainable, and the potential for sustainable sources of fish, shellfish, algae and aquaculture.
It will also examine how global diet changes will affect production in England, the impact of potential changes in food prices on producers, processors and consumers, as well as possible barriers that retailers may face in influencing sustainable consumption patterns.