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Retailers call for mandatory public food waste reporting

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Aldi, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose are amongst 30 companies, from the UK’s food, retail, and manufacturing sectors, to sign an open letter advocating for mandatory public food waste reporting.

Food waste management company Too Good To Go and the British Retail Consortium have published the letter which emphasises “the necessity of mandatory reporting to drive meaningful change” and calls for more action to be taken across the industry.

Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the BRC, said: “Mandatory Food Waste reporting is a key step in reducing food waste, helping retailers to understand their waste hotspots and where surplus food can be redistributed.

“While most retailers already report voluntarily through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, mandatory reporting will enable greater transparency across the supply chain. Retailers will continue to engage with the Government to ensure that the system works for all stakeholders and that it aligns across the four UK nations.”

In 2023, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced it would not mandate waste measurement and reporting for large food businesses until 2026. This was despite 80% of respondents to a 2022 consultation being in favour of a mandate.

In November, the UK government withdrew its previous response to its consultation on mandatory food waste reporting saying the Environment Secretary will now “reconsider” a mandate.

Ahead a special panel at SustainabilityX, Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder of sharing app Olio, told InternetRetailing how they are tackling the “senseless” problem of food waste. Celestial-One explained why partnerships and a far-reaching community are key to limiting waste.

Registration for the panel, Embrace Sustainability. Empower Retail: Understanding the business case for sustainability, is open now. For more information about SustainabilityX, held on 14 May 2024 at 133 Houndsditch, click here.

SustainabilityX is part of RetailX Event’s Spring Festival, click to see the full agenda.

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