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WRAP looks for food industry partners to cut food waste

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is putting out a tender to find partners within the food industry to help find solutions to cut food waste throughout the retail supply chain and in the home.

WRAP is now inviting proposals for projects to develop and trial innovative approaches and solutions to reduce household food waste. Collaborative partnerships between retailers, brands, designers, suppliers and others will be particularly encouraged.

Earlier in the year WRAP issued a report called The Food We Waste which found that around a third of the food we buy is wasted and in September WRAP held industry workshops in London and Leeds to discuss the report.

A number of potential solutions to reduce food waste were identified, from improved storage guidance for consumers, more consistent labelling and a greater range of pack sizes through to packaging changes aimed at increasing shelf life.

Research by WRAP showed that households throw away nearly £3 billion worth of fruit and vegetables per year. Other significant contributions to food waste are fresh meats and fish, ready meals, like pizzas, dairy products, dried foods and homemade meals. WRAP is looking to prioritise activity in these areas.

WRAP food waste minimisation manager Andrew Parry said: There are real opportunities for retailers and food manufacturers to help reduce the amount of food which is thrown away in the UK. Not only would this have significant environmental benefits, it could also drive cost savings for the industry and customers enhancing loyalty in difficult financial times.

The launch of this call for partnerships will now enable companies throughout the supply chain to work in partnership with WRAP to deliver real change.

Packaging Federation chief executive Dick Searle said: Packaging plays a key role in product protection and the packaging industry has been incredibly innovative over many years. This is a call to action to continue to build upon those innovations and to push the boundaries further to reduce food waste.

The closing date for the tender to be submitted November 2008.

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