Courtauld Commitment 2025: UK businesses save £300m-worth of food from going to waste

Forty-five food and drink businesses across the UK saved £300m-worth of food from going to waste this year, according to WRAP.

WRAP has published its annual review for Courtauld Commitment 2025 (Courtauld 2025), the UK’s national voluntary agreement for the food and drink sector in the UK.

This new report presents an overview of progress towards the industry targets on food waste prevention, water stewardship and carbon reduction.

The report shows that, in challenging times, the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap (which sets out the delivery plan for the Courtauld 2025 goals) saved 180kt of food (worth £300m) from becoming waste.

The WRAP consumer campaign Love Food Hate Waste continues to break records for awareness, and a new brand, Wasting Food: It’s Out of Date, was launched recently to engage with citizens who have not yet made the link between wasted food and climate change.

WRAP found almost four in five UK citizens (79%) undertook additional food management behaviours during lockdown, and these behaviours endured as lockdown eased as reflected in WRAP’s Food Waste Trends Survey reports.

Best before

Revised Best Before guidance for surplus food redistribution and COVID-19 emergency surplus food grants got more food to those who need it most during the pandemic, and the Guardians of Grub campaign for the hospitality & food service sector went online with a new learning platform for tackling sector food waste – Guardians of Grub: Becoming a Champion.

A new supply chain greenhouse gas working group launched to help slash CO2e across the sector, and Meat in a Net Zero world became the cross-industry vision to optimise meat productivity and minimise waste, from farm to fork.

The report also shows an estimated 750 million litres of water has been replenished back to nature as more than 80 food & drink businesses and 2,000 farmers engage on work to improve water stewardship.

Throughout the pandemic, one of the sector’s strengths in responding to COVID-19 has been the volume of surplus food redistributed, WRAP says.

WRAP’s work since March has led to £3.1m of emergency grant funding awarded to support redistribution organisations; the development of updated guidance including redistributing food beyond a ‘Best Before’ date, and freezing surplus food; and the Food Surplus Network – published last month – enabling businesses to identify redistribution partners that work in their location and with their type of business.

With recent changes across all four nations, resources to support the redistribution of surplus food are more important than ever, WRAP says.

These new resources and more are all available in one place for businesses.

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