Almost 90 food industry companies and organisations have signed up to a road map on food waste reduction devised by WRAP.
It said this was intended to drive down a £20bn annual bill for wasted food in the UK by taking a farm-to-fork approach.
The 89 that committed ahead of today’s launch include retailers, food producers, hospitality businesses and trade associations.
WRAP said the road map, created with grocery industry research body IGD, sets out actions that large businesses would take to combat food waste both in their own operations and among suppliers and consumers.
It has also drawn support from Defra and the Welsh and Scottish Governments.
The intention is that, by September 2019, half the UK’s largest 250 food businesses will be measuring, reporting and acting on food waste, with all of these doing so by 2026.
WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said: “This road map is hugely ambitious, and I’m delighted that the UK is the first country anywhere to set a nation-wide plan towards delivering its part in [sustainable development goal] 12.3.
“There are many businesses working hard already, but many more need to focus on food waste.”
Environment minister Therese Coffey said: “I congratulate the businesses stepping up to the plate in this ground-breaking commitment.
“The UK is a global leader in measuring food waste and supporting international food waste prevention projects. It is through the Government, consumers and businesses working together that we will continue to tackle the unacceptable issue of unnecessary food waste.”