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Food waste sector 'on knife edge'

A leading food waste recycler has claimed that the industry ‘is on a knife edge’, in response to European Commission research that Britons waste the most food in Europe.

UK consumers were found to produce 153kg of food waste a year per person against an EU average of 123kg, putting the country at the bottom of a European league table.

Philip Simpson 400

Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, left, said the findings demonstrated that the UK had to stop being a throwaway society.

“If people could really see the amount of food waste they produced they would be shocked by how much of their weekly shop and therefore income ends up rotting away,” he said.

“The same is for businesses – they’re literally throwing away their profit margins.”

ReFood’s Vision 2020 campaign aims to eradicate food waste being sent to landfill by 2020, saving households and businesses £17bn. But it says a lack of communication and initiatives from local authorities due to austerity measures are preventing behavioural change.

Simpson said: “With those in power pulling industry incentive schemes and providing little to support guaranteed feedstock, the industry really is on a knife edge.”

Research by Vision 2020 shows that 50% of all food produced on the planet never reaches a human stomach.

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