Consumer Goods Industry Commits to Food Waste Reduction

The Consumer Goods Forum (the CGF) has announced its commitment to tackling the global food waste challenge by agreeing to halve food waste within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025. 

The CGF is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide.

The CGF’s Board of Directors has, therefore, approved a new resolution to halve food waste within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025 and to support wider UN Goals on the issue. This is yet another milestone in the consumer goods industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership.

This Food Waste Resolution (“the Resolution”) is the third resolution of the CGF’s Sustainability Pillar. It complements Board-approved resolutions made in 2010 on achieving zero net deforestation by 2020 and beginning the phase-out hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants by 2015.

Marc Bolland, CEO, Marks & Spencer – “Tackling food waste makes sense for the consumer goods sector. It saves money, improves food security, conserves water and reduces greenhouse gas emissions – it’s an all-round win”

The CGF recognises that unchecked climate change will have a huge impact on the consumer goods sector, its customers and employees. With the COP21 Climate Summit occurring in Paris later this year, this new Food Waste Resolution, together with the CGF’s work on deforestation and low carbon refrigeration, demonstrates the industry’s commitment to play a leading role in limiting global temperature rises to 2C.

Central to the Food Waste Resolution is the aim to set a clear benchmark for food waste arisings today and set measurable goals to reduce food waste in the future. The Resolution specifically commits to aligning the industry around the Food Loss & Waste Protocol being developed by the World Resources Institute.

The CGF UK members include Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever, Waitrose, Walkers Shortbread and Marks & Spencer.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Board Co-Sponsor of the CGF’s sustainability work said: “The CGF commitment to reduce food waste strikes at the heart of the global climate and development challenge. It is a tragedy that up to two billion tonnes of food produced around the world is lost or wasted never making it onto a plate.

“At a time of growing food insecurity and climate change, we can’t afford to let this continue. This resolution marks a step change in industry leadership and is an important contribution to the longer term sustainable development agenda”.

Marc Bolland, CEO of Marks and Spencer and fellow Board Co-Sponsor of the CGF’s sustainability work said, “Tackling food waste makes sense for the consumer goods sector. It saves money, improves food security, conserves water and reduces greenhouse gas emissions – it’s an all-round win. We’re committed to helping our members significantly reduce food waste and to sharing our learnings and expertise with the wider food industry”.

In order to help CGF members implement the new resolution, an implementation plan has been developed. The plan includes key steps that will help develop a baseline, monitoring and public reporting mechanisms, communication and engagement plans and implementation toolkit.

These will all be supported by food waste-specific events and webinars that will be open to both CGF and non-CGF members. More details on these to follow.


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