“I am delighted to see that so much collaborative activity is underway across the supply chain. Collaboration is key as we work towards our collective goal for the Courtauld Commitment 2025 – to cut by one fifth the resource needed to provide UK food and drink.

“In line with the UK Government’s emerging Industrial Strategy, which highlights the productivity gap as a key challenge, Courtauld 2025 is helping identify areas of the food supply chain where resource efficiency is an issue, and then develop and share best practice to help increase productivity and eliminate waste.

“Take, for example, the hospitality and food service sector. WRAP has brought together the British Hospitality Association and a number of Courtauld 2025 signatories to develop and deliver ‘Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away’. This campaign has helped to motivate a growing number of food and drink businesses to measure and monitor food waste on a much wider scale. This approach is now being taken forward in the manufacturing sector to give similar support and guidance to make change happen, on the ground.

“At WRAP, we know that ‘what gets measured gets managed better.’ To help businesses measure more effectively, we created a tool that maps wastes and by-products generated through the manufacturing process. Using a similar approach, Co-op and Pizza Hut are working with their common supplier MyFresh, lettuce-grower LWS and WRAP to map the supply chain for lettuces, and identify opportunities to reduce waste and save costs.

“Courtauld 2025 is committed to assessing the extent of food waste in primary production for the first time. I am pleased to say that we have carried out ground-breaking studies to start the huge task of quantifying on-farm food waste, beginning with two key UK crops; strawberries and lettuce. Our research showed for the first time where, why and how much food is lost in primary production. We brought the whole supply chain together to demonstrate how on-farm yield forecasts could be used to improve decision-making along Asda’s potato supply chain; and signatories in the fresh produce sector are working with agricultural expert ADAS to assess the impact of supplier and retailer ‘wonky veg’ initiatives.

“It is essential to acknowledge the context in which this new collaborative action is taking place. At the start of this year we reported that reductions in household food waste had stalled between 2012 and 2015. At WRAP, we have redoubled our efforts to counter the plateau in household food waste, and are making a huge effort to help industry continue with the impact we have had to date. It is incredibly challenging to reduce food waste, and the stalling of progress shows just how difficult it is. WRAP is calling on all businesses, organisations, campaigners and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) who work in this area, to unite together in in the fight against food waste, and here’s how you can get involved:

  • Collaborate with us to succeed in building a sustainable food system. Whatever your place in the supply chain, whatever the size of your organisation, and whether you’re a signatory to Courtauld 2025 or not, you can help us all improve productivity by building a more efficient, more resilient supply chain, ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
  • Help citizens throw away less food. Leading businesses and trade bodies can demonstrate their commitment to helping citizens reduce food waste by collaborating in our refreshed Love Food Hate Waste campaign. Join the leading retailers, manufacturers and brands already collaborating with us in the food waste fight.
  • Track food thrown away and save money. We know that businesses who measure their food waste can manage it more effectively, and take steps to reduce it, making tangible savings to the bottom line and improving output. Help us by promoting ‘Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away’ to your business partners, and try it for yourself.

“There is a lot more work for us all to do if we are to achieve our collective ambition. But seeing so many organisations and individuals truly committed to being part of the solution makes me very optimistic that we will succeed in reshaping the food supply chain.

By working together, we can continue to create changes that benefit everyone.”