UK retail grocery giants have committed to an industry-wide food waste reduction target for the first time. Signatories of the Waste & Resources Action Programme Courtauld Commitment have agreed to work together to reduce the amount of food the UK throws away by 155,000 tonnes by 2010.
This is expected to save consumers £370 million - the equivalent of almost 700,000 tonnes of CO2.
The initiative will be delivered under WRAPs Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
The signatories comprise 30 of the UKs top grocery retailers and brands, and include
Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Mars, Kelloggs and Heinz.
WRAP has identified fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery products, dairy, meat and fish products as the highest source of household food waste. Action will be focused on identifying solutions and will examine how areas such as labelling, pack size range, storage advice and packaging designed to keep the food fresher for longer can all help to prevent household food waste.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: This pledge signals a concerted and consistent approach by the grocery industry to reduce household food waste. Taking action under the Courtauld Commitment will help the grocery sector reduce the carbon impact of food waste while delivering significant cost savings straight to the consumer pocket.
We want to see packaging innovation and advice to help shoppers make positive product choices and make the best use of the food they buy, therefore reducing the amount of waste.
The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement led by WRAP and grocery organisations that supports less packaging and food waste ending up in household bins.
To date, a number of retailers have implemented initiatives on food waste reduction through their involvement in the Courtauld Commitment.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said: I warmly welcome this commitment, which will ensure that not only are supermarkets, brand leaders and food processors now working to reduce food waste, but it will also help their customers buy wisely and thus reduce the cost to them.
Image: WRAP food waste