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Grocery chain failing on food redistribution

Grocers and manufacturers waste less food than we thought thanks to “highly efficient” supply chains, but are clearly failing when it comes to redistribution.

New data published by Wrap today shows that just 47,000 of the 270,000 tonnes of edible food waste is currently redistributed.

“Even after efforts to prevent food waste arising in the supply chain (potentially saving businesses £300m a year), there will still be the opportunity to increase redistribution four-fold, to the equivalent of at least 360 million meals,” the authors said.

In its “most comprehensive” review of surplus food and food waste from UK food manufacturers and grocers, Wrap calculated that 1.9m tonnes of food waste is created – which is “lower than previously reported”.

As well as vast improvements in redistribution efforts, a further 450,000 tonnes of food waste a year could be prevented by 2025 – a reduction of 23% compared to total food waste levels. However, this will be “hugely challenging”, the authors noted.

The findings – which include case studies – are being shared with businesses in the food and drink sector as part of the new Courtauld 2025 agreement. Though the agreement encompasses the foodservice and hospitality, Wrap’s report did not extend to these sectors.