The cross party Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has issued its report into food waste in England. The report said the government should establish a national food waste reduction target to drive efforts to reduce the food waste costing the average person in the UK £200 per year.
EFRA also said that supermarkets should publicly report data on the amount of food they bin and relax rules that prevent the sale of ‘wonky vegetables’ to combat food waste.
Committee chair Neil Parish MP said: “Food waste has grotesque economic, social and environmental costs. Economically, food waste costs households hundreds of pounds a year and causes increased disposal costs to local authorities, pushing up council tax bills”.
“Socially it is a scandal that people are going hungry and using food banks when so much produce is being wasted. And environmentally it is a disaster.”
Parish commended Tesco for publishing food waste data and Sainsbury’s for looking to follow suite but feels the government needs to step in to ensure other retailers move in the same direction.
“The FPA agrees with the overall conclusion of the EFRA Inquiry: food waste is a scandal,” Martin Kersh, the Foodservice Packaging Association’s executive director. “We also welcome many of the recommendations contained within the report but feel the report’s headlines overly focuses attention on supermarkets and the hospitality and foodservice sectors whereas it is clear the greatest opportunities for reducing food waste exist within households accounting for 71% of food waste.