Waste agreement explained

THE NEW voluntary agreement for the foodservice sector was published June 27. Here is a breakdown of what we know so far.


What is it?

The Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement is a voluntary scheme to encourage the sector to deal with its waste more effectively and, as a result, save money.


Who designed it?

The Government made a commitment to introduce the scheme in its waste review last year. WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, was tasked with designed the scheme using its experience of a similar agreement in the retail sector (the Courtauld Commitment). There was also considerable input from industry, including a roundtable last year organised by Foodservice Footprint.


What are the targets?

The agreement aims to cut food and associated packaging waste by 5% (a reduction of 234,000 tonnes of carbon), or the equivalent of approximately 100 million meals. It also aims to increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste that is being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted to 70% (a carbon reduction of 336,000 tonnes). Both targets will use a 2012 baseline and be monitored annually. The aim is to achieve the targets by 2015.


Who has signed up?

So far, 69 businesses have backed the agreement, including Sodexo, BaxterStorey, Compass, Domino’s Pizza, Unilever Food Solutions and Greggs. This represents 15% of the sector by turnover, according to WRAP. See here for a full list of signatories and supporters:




What’s the difference between a signatory and a supporter?

Organisations that opt to sign up either do so as signatories or supporters, depending on their role within the sector. In general a business signatory is an organisation that produces and serves their customer a meal or snack. Meanwhile, a supporter is an organisation that works within the sector but is not delivering that meal or snack directly to a customer. Signatories report directly against the two main targets, while supporters will be required to help “deliver change”.


What are the savings?

If 25% of the sector by turnover sign up, WRAP has estimated it will save £76million by the end of 2015 and reduce carbon emissions by 570,000 tonnes.


What are the costs of producing all the data?

We don’t know. However, there will be support from WRAP. Larger companies (with 250 or more fulltime employees) will have a key account manager to help them establish their 2012 baseline and meet with them regularly to give one-to-one support. They are required to report to WRAP on an annual basis their tonnage data in line with the two key targets.

Smaller companies will be able to sign up on-line. They also will develop an implementation plan but will review their own progress. They are not required to report tonnage data on an annual basis (although they can if they wish). They will be asked to submit examples of good practice.


Who will monitor the scheme?

The agreement will be overseen by a Steering Group. This will be announced next month and will comprise of both signatories and supporters.