Labour MP To Introduce Food Waste Reduction Bill

On September 9, Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour MP for Bristol East, will be introducing her Food Waste (Reduction) Bill in the House of Commons. 

The Bill seeks to ensure that more of the “obscene” amounts of food needlessly wasted through the food industry supply chains – from production through to retail – is prevented or available to charities, for redistribution to people living in food poverty.

This Bill, which McCarthy says is receiving strong cross-party support, is backed by food waste campaigning organisations, Feedback and This is Rubbish, as well as by FareShare, WWF-UK, Friends of the Earth and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

This Bill addresses the “shocking and unsustainable” levels of industry food waste. Globally, around a third of all food produced is wasted.

It also responds to the need to meet the global challenge of feeding a growing population from an increasingly scare agricultural base. If the amount of food wasted around the world were reduced by just 25%, there would be enough to feed everyone on this planet, she says.

McCarthy says that until now Government policies have primarily focussed on household food waste – which has reduced by 21% since 2007 – but has largely ignored the waste generated by the food industry throughout its supply chain.

She says that the food industry’s voluntary targets simply aren’t ambitious enough to drive the level of reduction needed, or equal to the challenge of meeting EU and UN targets on food waste reduction.

The Bill will:

  • Oblige supermarkets to donate unsold food – along the lines of recent Belgium and French legislative proposals, which was inspired by a wave of popular support for new laws to end the scandal of supermarket food waste. Although the French laws were recently revoked (hopefully temporarily) for legislative procedural reasons – they ignited petitions for similar laws in the UK, and the EC also passed a resolution recommending for this law to be extended across Europe.
  • Require large supermarkets and manufacturers to publish and transparently report their food waste across the supply chain.
  • Set ambitious food waste targets, equal to the challenge of meeting EU & UN targets on food waste reduction.
  • Require the Government to review its current system of fiscal measures, which perversely makes it cheaper to sell food nearing its use-by date for anaerobic-digestion and composting, rather than for redistribution – and to implement incentives (or disincentives) to enforce the food waste hierarchy.

For more on the Bill CLICK HERE

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