Business urged to sign food waste pledge

Food businesses, restaurants and retailers have been urged to follow new guidance that will help them avoid food waste.


Developed by the ‘Feeding the 5,000’ partnership, the guidance outlines the five principles of the so-called ‘Food Waste Pyramid’, which encourages businesses to cut waste, redistribute unwanted food and send anything else to anaerobic digestion or for composting.


The call comes as thousands of members of the public are also set to pledge to cut food waste. On Friday, 18 November, five thousand people are invited to a free hot lunch in Trafalgar Square between 12 noon and 2.00pm. All the food will be made entirely from ingredients that would otherwise have been wasted, such as fresh but cosmetically imperfect fruit and vegetables. Chefs including Thomasina Miers, Valentine Warner and Arthur Potts Dawson will be preparing the feast.


The event has been organised by campaigner Tristram Stuart, in partnership with FareShare, Foodcycle, Love Food Hate Waste and Friends of the Earth. Stuart said he wanted to highlight how easy it is to reduce the “unimaginable levels” of food waste in the UK and internationally, and how governments, businesses and individuals can help.


Feeding the 5000 is a wonderful partnership including farmers, charities and the public. The aim of our lunchtime feast is to highlight how food waste can be avoided by putting food to good use. We want businesses and the public to sign the Feeding the 5000 pledge to show how everyone has the power – and the responsibility – to help solve the global food waste scandal.”


The public pledge reads: “I pledge to reduce my food waste and I want businesses to do the same.” Those unable to attend the event will be able to pledge through the Feeding the 5000 website.


Almost 40% of UK diners would pay more to eat in places that commit to cutting food waste, according to Unilver Food Solutions World Menu Report. What’s more, older people are prepared to accept smaller portions, while the majority of men and women would leave things they didn’t like off their order – but still pay full price.


Stuart added: “Why do shops waste food? For the same reason restaurants do – [because] it’s essentially very difficult to predict demand. If you’re a manager or a chef this is something you have to face every day. But what about the impact further up and down the chain? If you own forecasts can help suppliers predict their own supplies, then everyone can start working together to help reduce waste.”