The Waste & Resources Action Programme is undertaking new research to calculate the amount of waste in the UK retail supply chain for pre-prepared food for the first time and identify how it can be reduced for businesses to achieve cost and environmental savings.
Covering four representative products sandwiches, pizza, quiche and ready meals the research will develop detailed resource maps to highlight the amount of food and packaging waste generated for each product type at key stages in the chilled and frozen supply chains. It will also calculate the associated carbon emissions and economic impact, as well as detailing the amount of water used and disposed of during the manufacture of these products.
Best guidance covering storage, handling and packaging will then be produced to enable companies in the pre-prepared food categories to benchmark themselves against data and maximise opportunities for achieving environmental benefits and cost savings.
WRAP retail supply chain programme manager Charlotte Henderson said identifying where waste is generated, and the reasons why, will help the development of effective solutions which are tailored to these products.
She added: By sharing these with the sector, we aim to help companies at all stages of the supply chain access these commercial and environmental benefits.
WRAP will be working with food industry consultancy Food Processing Faraday in partnership with the Centre for Value Chain Research at the University of Kent. The Chilled Food Association, the British Frozen Food Federation, British Sandwich Association and the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Foods Association are also supporting the project.
FP Faraday head of programmes Ian Blakemore said: Being able to measure what works and what doesnt is fundamental to improvement. This study will provide information on what happens to key ingredients for key pre-prepared foods categories including sandwiches and pizza.