80% more food being redistributed from retailers, but EFRA says more needs to be done on food waste


The first year of the Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 has seen 80% more food being distributed by retailers and food manufacturers, according to WRAP.

But a report from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in the House of Commons, has said that more needs to be done to ensure that nine million tonnes of the 15 million tonnes of food waste that could have been eaten doesn’t go to waste.


WRAP also found that the carbon impact of packaging has fallen by 4.5% ahead of a target of zero increase by this year. This has been as a result of reducing packaging, increasing recycled content and using different packaging materials.

While there has been little change in the overall manufacturing and retail waste against a 3% reduction target, signatories to Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 report an increase in recycling and recovery with less material going into the sewers or disposal.

Food redistributed for human consumption doubled from 21,000 tonnes to 38,000 tonnes.

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WRAP director of sustainable food systems Richard Swannell said: “I am delighted that progress on the packaging target has exceeded expectations and redistribution has increased significantly. There is still much to do before the end of this phase though, with the biggest challenge being the manufacturing and retail target. We will be working closely with signatories to help ensure all the targets are met.”

MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) have called on the Government to ensure WRAP remains adequately funded in order to cut food waste.

In its report, Food security, demand, consumption and waste, the EFRA Committee called on Defra to lead a joined-up national approach that saves and redistributes surplus food from all parts of the supply chain.

It says Defra should appoint a Food Security Coordinator who would bring together key agencies to develop effective systems to distribute far greater volumes of food that would otherwise go to waste.

Committee chair Anne McIntosh MP said: “The work of charities and supermarkets to redistribute surplus food via foodbanks is commendable but the amount redistributed is pitifully small compared to the amount of good food that currently goes to waste.

“Nine million tonnes of avoidable food waste goes into bins each year, yet a considerable proportion is fit for consumption when it is discarded: this level of waste is unacceptable economically, socially and environmentally.

“The Government should set up a task force to coordinate national work by chairities, councils, retailers, food producers and manufacturers to establish an effective redistribution network across the country.”