UK food industry commits to halve food waste by 2030
Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Over 100 leading firms and organisations in the food sector, including all of the UK’s major supermarkets, have pledged their support to a government action to halve food waste by 2030.

The firms include Aldi, Asda, Caffé Nero, Co-op, Costa, FDF, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Nestlé, Ocado, UKHospitality, Unilever, World Wildlife Fund for Nature and Waitrose among others.

They will also raise public awareness of the issue through a week of action.

“I am delighted to see so many UK food businesses commit to game-changing action to cut food waste, and I hope that others follow suit,” said Michael Gove, Environment Secretary.

The announcement comes after the government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot urged organisations to ‘Step up to the Plate’ at a landmark symposium last month.

“We are pleased to see these retailers committing to change. To those retailers yet to sign the pledge – why not? You have a responsibility to step up and do your bit,” said Elliot.

“We will be highlighting those who participate and those who do not. The food waste crisis can only be solved by collective action.”

Currently in the UK an estimated 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted annually after leaving the farm gate, worth around £20 billion.

Dave Lewis, group chief executive of Tesco and the chair of Champions 12.3, a coalition that works toward achieving SDG Target 12.3 by 2030, asked firms to report food waste as a next step.

“Today’s announcement that over 100 UK food companies have signed up to the Step up to the Plate pledge is welcome news. The next step is for all signatories to publicly report their food waste data in line with Champions 12.3 best practice,” he said.

“This will be crucial for identifying hotspots that require collective action; holding individual companies to account for the commitments they have made and for the UK delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.”

Earlier this year the government launched a £15 million scheme to tackle food waste, building on its landmark Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out how the government will introduce annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses.

The UK food industry has announced in September 2018 a voluntary plan to cut food waste with a similar pledge.

The list of organisations that have signed the government’s ‘Step up to the Plate’ pledge as of now are:

  • Aberdeen Ltd
  • Aldi
  • Alliance for Sustainability and Leadership in Education
  • Allied Bakeries
  • Apetito
  • Approved Food
  • Approved Food Limited
  • Asda
  • Bakkavor Group
  • Barfoots
  • Baxter Storey
  • Berry Gardens
  • Bidfood
  • Boots
  • Bread and Butter Thing
  • Bread and Honey
  • British Frozen Food Federation
  • Café Nero
  • Central England Coop
  • ChicP
  • Chilled Food Association
  • Company Shop
  • Compass Group
  • Cooke Genie
  • Costa
  • Cranswick
  • Dale Farm
  • Daylesford Organic
  • Denhay Farms LTD
  • Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Direct Produce Supplies Ltd.
  • Earth Changers
  • East End Foods
  • Eden Project
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Environment Agency
  • Felix Project
  • Flawsome
  • Food and Drink Federation
  • Food Bytes
  • Foodchain Technologies Limited
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • Fresh Produce Consortium
  • Gather and Gather
  • Gen Mills
  • General Mills
  • Greencore
  • G’s Fresh Limited
  • Harper Adams University
  • Heckfield Place
  • Hilton Food Group
  • His Church
  • Hummingbird Technologies
  • Industry Council for Packaging & the Environment
  • Institute of Grocery Distribution
  • Intercontinemtal Hotels Group
  • It’s Fresh
  • Karma
  • Karmalicious LTD
  • KP Snacks
  • Lidl
  • London Restaurant Festival
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Morrisons
  • National Farmers Union
  • Neighbourly
  • Nestlé
  • Nibsetc
  • Ocado
  • Old Oak Primary School
  • Olio
  • Plan Zheroes
  • Plot Kitchen
  • Rubies In The Rubble
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Samworth Brothers
  • Selfridges
  • Smart Store Cooking
  • Starbucks
  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Tesco
  • The Packaging Federation
  • The Real Junk Food Project
  • Toast Ale
  • Too Good To Go
  • UK Hospitality
  • Unilever UK and Ireland
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Waitrose
  • Waste Food Solutions
  • Wasteless
  • Winnow
  • World Resources International
  • World Wide Fund for Nature
  • WRAP