As many of you will have noted, Kerry McCarthy’s Food Waste (Reduction) Bill aimed at legislating more direct action on food waste at the industry level, did not go through and will now fall at the end of this Parliamentary session. This is disappointing news as it is clear that voluntary work is not moving the UK forward enough in terms of meeting the UN target of halving global food wastage by 2030.
However, in the meantime, there has been some positive action on Food Waste throughout the United Kingdom!
- On 15th March, WRAP launched an update of the voluntary Courtauld Commitment, C2025, which shows improvements in line with some of the demands made by the Stop the Rot Campaign, namely acknowledging the responsibility of Supermarkets to waste in their supply chain including, importantly, food wasted on farms. C2025 has also set a more ambitious 20% food waste reduction target by 2025 although critics such as Kerry McCarthy and Stop the Rot believe a 30% reduction from 2016 baselines is a necessarily more ambitious target that is achievable especially if there is legal back-up. There are 98 signatories to C2025 so far.
- The Scottish Government have committed to an impressive 33% reduction food waste by 2025, the first target of its kind in Europe, as part of efforts to develop a more circular economy in Scotland.
- Tescos has announced an initiative to donate all unsold food from its stores to charity in an effort to completely eradicate its in-store food waste by the end of 2017. They have partnered with FareShare to open a digital platform called FareShare FoodCloud which allows stores and charities to liaise and organise the redistribution of surplus food. Let’s hope other supermarkets follow suit very soon!
- Closer to home, the food-waste-tackling app OLIO is due to be launched in Oxfordshire this month! This free Food Sharing Revolution app connects residents with each other and with local shops and cafes to share their edible surplus food. It has already been successfully active in London and now the creators are bringing it to Oxford. Join the launch celebration by bringing a dish to share at St Margarets Institute on 7th May (Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1067326483315041/).
Other actions you can take yourself:
Continue to support the Stop the Rot Campaign for more ambitious reduction targets here.
Download the OLIO app here.
Written by Martha Wiltshire, our fabulous intern!