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WRAP launches expanded Courtauld agreement

Almost 100 organisations have signed up to WRAP’s latest voluntary initiative, Courtauld 2025, to cut down on food and packaging waste.

The latest phase of the scheme, following Courthauld 1-3, includes a target to reduce the UK’s food and drink waste by one-fifth in the next 10 years.

Other targets are a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK and a reduction in the impact of water use in the supply chain.

Some 98 organisations have signed up including all major UK food retailers, brands, food service companies, trade bodies and local authorities.

For the first time it will bring the parties together under one voluntary agreement to achieve collective goals.

WRAP will work with industry and other stakeholders to support actions under four main areas:

  • embedding sustainable principles and practices into the design, buying and sourcing of food
  • optimising resource efficiency throughout entire supply chains to help produce more goods using fewer resources
  • to influence behaviours around consumption and reduce waste in the home
  • to find innovative ways to make the best use of surplus and waste food

WRAP estimates that meeting targets will deliver £20bn-worth of savings to the UK economy, with approximately £4bn in business and the majority by individuals.

The organisation’s director of sustainable food systems, Dr Richard Swannell, said: “To safeguard UK food we need a step-change to increase sustainable food and drink production and consumption, conserve resources and combat climate change. Courtauld 2025 will do this.

“This is an ambitious undertaking, and having key signatories on-board on day one puts us in a strong position at the start of this new era for our food industry. I look forward to welcoming other leading organisations as signatories over the coming weeks, months and years and delivering this ambitious agreement.”

Resources minister Rory Stewart said: “I am delighted that this great group of food and drink companies has come together with WRAP to reduce our food waste.

“Under the last framework, we have already reduced food waste in the supply chain by 10% and this teamwork and leadership should allow us to go much further.”

Wales’ natural resources minister Carl Sargeant said: “Through collaboration, innovation and shared expertise, it will deliver real economic and environmental benefits for Wales as well as deliver a more sustainable food and drink sector for Wales and contribute to green growth.”

Scotland’s environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Courtauld 2025 will complement ongoing work by Zero Waste Scotland and the food and drink industry here to reduce food waste and develop a more circular economy. “

Signatories:

  • Retailers: Aldi, Asda, Central England Co-operative, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Musgraves, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-operative Food, Waitrose
  • Brands and manufacturers: Associated British Foods, Arla, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Heineken, Nestlé UK and Ireland, Premier Foods, Unilever, Warburtons
  • Hospitality and food service: apetito, Bidvest, Compass, KFC, OCS, Pizza Hut
  • Local authorities: 24 councils, including the London Waste and Recycling Board, representing more than 42% of the UK’s population
  • Trade and sector organisations and academia: British Hospitality Association, British Retail Consortium, Chilled Food Association, Dairy UK, Food & Drink Federation, Food Standards Agency, Institute of Hospitality, Sustainable Restaurant Association, WWF

Dozens of retailers, food and drinks companies and organisations, including the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium, have signed up to the previous phases of the WRAP-led initiative.

Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee chair Andrew Bird said: ”The pleasing thing for me is the whole life cycle approach that this agreement takes, and the hope is that real change will happen right through the food production and waste process.

“Obviously, local authorities are part of that chain through their food waste collection services, but this is only a small part of the new agreement.

”That said, 24 authorities have also joined us in being signatories, including some big urban areas. Between them they cover 42% of the population so that is a great commitment from our sector.”

Courtauld Commitment 3 targets for 2015 included reducing household food and drink waste by 5% and decreasing the carbon impact of packaging by 3%. The first Courtauld agreement was launched in 2005.

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