The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on improved food waste reporting by large food businesses in England as part of the Government’s Food Strategy.
Plans to drive innovation and harness pioneering technology in farming were set out as part of the Government’s Food Strategy which sets out to help increase domestic production, spread jobs and grow the economy.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined, offering employment opportunities, apprenticeships and investment in research and development.
“The strategy we are setting out today will increase the focus on skills in the food sector, and the roles and career pathways available. In particular, we will seek to boost our horticulture industry and ensure the expertise needed to develop the sector here in the UK.
The food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined, offering employment opportunities, apprenticeships and investment in research and development.
The Strategy follows the independent review of the food system by Henry Dimbleby last year, which set out an analysis of the challenges facing the food system.
The Government Food Strategy responds to these findings and recommendations, accepting the majority of recommendations, with policy initiatives to boost health, sustainability, accessibility of diet to secure food supply, while also recognising the shared global challenges of the war in Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic on the global economy
The strategy also includes plans to incentivise the sector to use surplus heat and CO2 from industrial processes, and renewable sources of energy to increase domestic horticultural production.
£270 million will be invested across farming innovation funding programmes until 2029, to unlock technologies to drive sustainable farming techniques which will help increase productivity and profitability and the sector’s long-term resilience.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our Food Strategy sets out a blueprint for how we will back farmers, boost British industry and help protect people against the impacts of future economic shocks by safeguarding our food security.
“Harnessing new technologies and innovation, we will grow and eat more of our own food – unlocking jobs across the country and growing the economy, which in turn will ultimately help to reduce pressure on prices.”
Defra has launched its consultation, seeking views on options to improve food waste reporting by large food businesses in England.
It wants views on the following:
- options for improving food waste reporting
- types of businesses in scope
- material in scope to be reported
- the reporting process which businesses in scope will need to follow for any regulation
- costs and impacts of any regulation
- enforcement of any regulations.
WRAP has responded the Government Food Strategy, saying it h has made some “important recommendations”.
Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP, said: “Henry Dimbleby has done a great job looking holistically at our food system. As he said in his reports, food is both a miracle in that we can feed our growing global population but also a disaster in that the way we produce it causes so much environmental damage.
“The way we feed ourselves feeds climate change – causing around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We must change that, as we will not fix climate change if we don’t fix our broken food system.
“The Government Food Strategy has made some important recommendations. More than 200 large food businesses already measure their food waste as part of the WRAP-IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and are realising both financial and environmental benefits by minimising that wastage.
If we want to tackle climate change, improve UK agriculture, help people eat more healthy food and drive the rural economy, we need to take heed of all the recommendations in the National Food Strategy.
“We welcome the proposal to extend this with a consultation on improved reporting for larger businesses. We estimate a further 400 food businesses could be brought onboard. The availability of robust data is core to businesses achieving climate and other environmental goals and WRAP welcomes the Food Data Transparency Partnership as a means of ensuring a consistent approach to measurement across the sector.
“Last month, WRAP published draft Protocols for measuring Scope 3 GHG emissions, which we are piloting with 15 food & drink businesses. We anticipate the new Partnership will provide the framework for wide adoption of these Protocols.
“If we want to tackle climate change, improve UK agriculture, help people eat more healthy food and drive the rural economy, we need to take heed of all the recommendations in the National Food Strategy.
“It is good to see policy measures being implemented as a result of the strategy, but food is critical in so many ways that we need to make sure we are doing all we can to drive system change and deliver a sustainable food system for the UK.”