UK supermarket giants, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, have joined a global food waste coalition that aims to halve global food loss at the retailer and consumer levels.
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has launched a CEO-led Coalition of Action on Food Waste, bringing together 14 of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers with the goal of halving per capita global food loss at the retailer and consumer levels.
The Coalition and its members, with their explicit CEO engagement, action-oriented commitments aim to contribute to the effort to reduce food loss in supply chains worldwide with their ongoing collaboration.
Food waste is an enormous environmental, social and economic problem, the CGF says.
Food loss is a serious global problem and it can only be effectively addressed through committed collective action
A third of food produced is never eaten, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost each year. That represents an economic cost to the global economy of USD $940 billion.
Food waste is also responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the planet’s atmosphere annually, so if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the US, it says.
The 14 initial members of the Coalition are Ahold Delhaize, Barilla, Bel Group, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Majid Al Futtaim, McCain Foods, Merck Animal Health, Metro AG, Migros Ticaret, Nestlé, Sainsbury, Tesco, and Walmart. The Coalition is sponsored at the CGF Board level by Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco, and Max Koeune, President and CEO of McCain Foods. The Coalition Steering Committee is co-chaired by Francisco Cordero of Kellogg Company and Brittni Furrow of Ahold Delhaize USA.
Through their participation in the Coalition, these members set out to ‘take important steps’ to reduce waste by fulfilling three Coalition commitments:
- First, the Coalition says it recognises the ‘critical importance’ of measuring and reporting food loss data, with members committing to report their data by 2021.
- Second, in support of Champions 12.3, a long-time CGF partner and multi-stakeholder organisation working to reach UN SDG 12.3, Coalition members agree to scale up Champions 12.3’s 10x20x30 Initiative – extending their collaboration beyond the Coalition to engage their suppliers and other stakeholders.
- Finally, members commit to addressing food loss at the post-harvest level, which is responsible for creating 30 percent of food waste, by engaging with stakeholders to develop innovative and effective food loss prevention strategies.
Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Environmental Sustainability at the CGF, said: “Food loss is a serious global problem and it can only be effectively addressed through committed collective action.
“The launch of the Coalition of Action on Food Waste is a positive and important step to creating sustainable food strategies and preventing loss, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Coalition will have on the issue”.
The launch of the Coalition of Action on Food Waste is a positive and important step to creating sustainable food strategies and preventing loss, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Coalition will have on the issue
To support the global commitments of the Coalition, the group are also creating regional working groups to drive implementation at the local level, and to help engage key stakeholders in those regions.
With its commitments and actions, the Coalition will set out to have a ‘powerful role’ in the effort to reduce waste, reducing stress on the environment, benefitting the global economy and ensuring more food makes it to stores and onto consumers’ tables in the process.
The Consumer Goods Forum (“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.