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WRAP funding ‘essential’ to tackle food waste

MPs have said that preserving public funding of WRAP is “essential” for it to maintain momentum in its food waste reduction programmes.

A report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committe, which is titled ‘Food security: demand, consumption and waste’, stated: “Programmes such as those run by WRAP have driven reductions of 21% in avoidable household food waste since 2007.”

Defra cut WRAP funding from £48.1m (2010–11)  to £17.6m (2014–15). Meanwhile funding for 2015–16 is anticipated to be £15.5m.

WRAP has achieved charitable status, which could allow it to access wider funding such as from trusts and charities, but the Committee’s principle recommendation was to continue adequate public funding for the organisation.

The report stated: “This makes good economic sense even in times of financial constraint, since programmes to reduce food waste deliver both public and private benefits beyond their costs.”

WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin told the committee that every £1 of public money spent on programmes to reduce household food waste generated £250 worth of savings in the home.

“Clearly I could say we could do more if I had more resources but there are also a lot of resources being put in by others,” she added.

The committee also welcomed work by organisations such as Plan Zheroes to redistribute surplus food, but cited that just 2% of the 400,000 tonnes of food which is still edible when discarded is redistributed.

The report called on Defra to lead a joined-up national approach that saves and redistributes surplus food from all parts of the supply chain.

It stated: “Defra should appoint a food security co-ordinator, one of whose key roles would be to bring together key agencies to develop effective systems to distribute far greater volumes of food that would otherwise go to waste.”

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