Sustainability body WRAP has restated the figures of UK food waste as part of a drive for better international consistency in measurement, reporting and action.
This move follows the publication of the official Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025) baseline for the year 2015, where the progress to reduce UK food waste will be measured.
The organisation has restated the way UK household food waste is defined to conform to the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLWS), which is the international standard and measure which WRAP developed with its partners*.
WRAP has said that this move will allow for easier comparisons to be made between nations, as more comparable data becomes available from different countries through the FLWS.
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Data for 2015 household food waste has been restated and for key historical years using international classifications.
This means that WRAP will no longer classify food waste under the categories “avoidable”, “possibly avoidable” or “unavoidable”, but simply as “wasted food” or “inedible parts”.
Key points for the restated food waste figures and the 2015 baseline include:
- The total estimate for the UK post-farm food waste (2015) remains at 10.2 million tonnes
- The total household food waste is now reported as 7.1 million tonnes rather than 7.3 million
- The amount of household food that could have been eaten is 70% of the total household food waste, or 5.0 million tonnes, worth an estimated £15 billion
- Around 3.1 million tonnes of food waste occurred in the entire supply chain in 2015.
WRAP director Peter Maddox said: “We have some big activities planned for this year aimed at driving down food waste in the supply chain and in the home, and this is a good time to bring our numbers into line with the international standards.
“WRAP was instrumental in developing the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard, and it’s imperative that all nations report using this approach so progress can be measured uniformly. Restating our own figures will encourage other countries to report using the standard, and consistency is crucial in the fight against food waste.”
The organisation has previously reported reductions in supply chain food waste of around 250,000 tonnes per year from signatories to its voluntary agreements, but C2025 targets apply to the whole supply chain, so reductions must be achieved by both signatories and non-signatories.
*FLSW partners include: The United National Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Consumer Goods Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.