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Retailers and charities hold food waste talks

Major retailers and charities are meeting at a Defra-organised summit to establish new plans for cutting food waste, ministers have announced.

A host of the biggest high street names, including Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are joining leading charities FareShare and FoodCycle for the roundtable discussions.

Defra said 15 million tonnes of food are wasted every year in the UK by households, manufacturers, retailers and the hospitality sector combined - enough to fill Wembley Stadium nine times.

Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman said: “Preventing food waste protects the environment, helps communities and makes good business sense. 

“Charities and retailers are already working together to make great use of surplus food and I’m hosting the roundtable today to look at new ways to make the system work even better.” 

The move follows WRAP announcing last week nearly 70 hospitality and food companies have signed up to a voluntary agreement, in which companies pledged to cut food and packaging waste by 5%

The department estimates industry could save up to £76m by 2015 even if just 25% of the sector signs up to the deal and that it could stopsome 100 million edible meals ending up in the bin

Getting round the table: big names sign up for talks:

  • Tesco
  • ASDA
  • Morrisons
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Waitrose
  • Co-op
  • Boots Alliance
  • British Retail Consortium
  • Institute of Grocery Distribution
  • Food and Drink Federation

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