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WRAP sets food waste as key priority

WRAP has set food waste as its number one priority for future policy and is preparing a more wide-reaching development of the current Courtauld commitments.

Liz Goodwin at Westminster Forum event

Chief executive Liz Goodwin, who said the initiative would focus on sustainable sourcing of food, optimising the value chain, consumption behaviours and unconsumed food, set out her organisation’s strategy at a seminar on UK food waste policy held in London by the Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum.

“WRAP has carried out detailed research to discover the resource areas where the most is being wasted,” she said. “Food comes out top by a mile. A scarce critical resource we are squandering.”

She said the average UK household throws away the equivalent of six meals every week at a collective cost of £12.5bn a year or almost £60 a month per family.

“It’s easy then to see why I have made supporting a more sustainable use of food WRAP’s number one priority,” she added.

WRAP is developing proposals for a more comprehensive version of the three voluntary Courtauld Commitments for the grocery sector to equip the UK economy and society to meet the global challenges on food sustainability.

“Courtauld has many fans but, rest assured, a new ‘collaborative framework’ would be wider in remit and reach.”

Goodwin said it would consider what happens to waste arising throughout the food chain as well as in the home under four themes:

  • sustainable design, buying and sourcing
  • value chain optimisation, looking at efficiencies from “field through to fork”
  • consumption behaviours
  • maximising the value from unconsumed food

“Part of WRAP’s role will be to marshal activity, identify and share good practice, and measure outcomes around these themes. Critically, we are seeking to broker collaboration that delivers change at the system level,” she added.

“I want us to play our part in making the world a place where resources are used sustainably. That vision gives us a clear focus – clear goals. An opportunity to work as enablers of change in the UK and internationally.”

The appointment of Liz Truss as the new environment secretary was welcomed by Goodwin who said the new political head of Defra was interested in food and the economy.

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