Tackling Food Waste

The UK currently wastes 10 million tonnes of food each year and this is expected to rise by a further 1.1 million by 2025 (Environment, Food and Rural Affair Committee 2017). 60% of this waste could be avoided. This waste of food has substantial economic, social and environmental repercussions. Despite this, 8.4 million Britons struggle to get regular meals on a daily basis(UNFAO 2018). WRAP estimate that the food industry alone wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food a year, 400,000 tonnes of which could be redistributed to those experiencing food poverty. Indeed, the value of wasted food in 2015 was estimated at £13 billion, which costs British families on average £470 annually (WRAP 2017). The environment also suffers significantly from the waste of food. UK food waste is associated with greenhouse gas emissions of over 20 million tonnes (WRAP 2017).

The UK Government’s approach to tackling this issue has been to support the efforts of individual organisations through funding, rather than regulatory approaches. Schemes such as the Courtauld2025 initiative and ‘LoveFoodHateWaste’ have been led by WRAP in an effort to reduce food waste. The Government has supported other local initiatives through a £500,000 Food Waste Reduction Fund. The Government has also taken steps to improve their food waste policy, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove announcing a £15 million pilot scheme to reduce waste, commencing in 2019/20. The Government also published its new Clean Growth Strategy, which targets banning food in all landfills by 2020. Devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland have also set specific targets to reduce food waste by 2025.

However despite these initatives, challenges remain. Critics have cited the UK Government’s failure to promote the redistribution of wasted food to the poor as a major failure. While France and Italy introduced legislation to support redistribution of unused food to the poor, the UK has instead subsidised the use of this food to produce energy via anaerobic digestion. A 2017 report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee also raised concern with Government policy, criticising the voluntary nature of the Courtauld initiative and the number of supermarkets who have not committed to food waste reduction as a result. The same report also questioned the Government’s decision to reduce WRAP’s funding.

This timely symposium therefore offers food waste organisations, local authorities, retailers and many other key stakeholders the opportunity to discuss current approaches to reducing food waste, and how these efforts can be improved in future.

Delegates Will:

  • Learn from charities and local organisations the most effective methods to reduce food waste in communities
  • Assess the Courtauld 2025 plan and discuss whether it has met its aims in reducing food waste
  • Discuss the potential for app technology to improve food waste amongst individuals
  • Develop awareness of the implications of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and new food waste reduction fund
  • Analyse approaches taken by other countries take to combat food waste and reduce food poverty
  • Assess the outcomes of Sainsbury’s efforts to discourage food waste in households and how supermarkets can help reduce their own impact
  • Gain insight into the most effective strategies local authorities can use to reduce food waste amongst their communities
  • Debate how Brexit will impact on the development of food waste policy in the UK

To view the brochure, including the full event programme, click here.

Thre is a 20% early registration discount off the standard delegate rates (subject to type of organisation and terms and conditions) for bookings received by the 2nd January 2019.
Do feel free to circulate this information to relevant colleagues within your organisation.

In the meantime, to ensure your organisation is represented, please book online