Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tells MPs that supermarkets need to be more transparent over food waste

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Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and food waste campaigner Tristram Stuart have told MPs that supermarkets must publish date on food waste.

Giving evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, the pair said that other supermarkets should join Tesco and Sainsbury’s in being more transparent on the amount of food they waste.

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “Food waste is something we are all responsible for – individuals and families included – but the level of waste created by the major retailers is close to criminal. Consumers want to see supermarkets dropping the ridiculous cosmetic standards on fruit and veg that cause so much perfectly good food to be ditched.

“Retailers must also rein in the over-production and over-ordering that lead to mountains of fresh food hitting the bins before it has ever even seen a shop shelf. The big players in food retailing must take the lead in the war against waste and be completely honest and transparent about their own wasteful practices – it’s the only way to come up with sane and successful solutions.”

Tristram Stuart added: “When good food is wasted we all miss out – consumers, communities and businesses. By effectively hiding the facts, retailers who fail to publish transparent figures also hinder the solutions.

“Without accurate figures on where food is going to waste, it can’t be redistributed to people who would otherwise go hungry, social entrepreneurs can’t seek delicious solutions like Toast ale, which uses fresh surplus bread to make beer, and the Government can’t create the right policies to help all of us tackle waste. There are so many brilliant solutions to food waste, but they all start with transparency.”