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Rebecca Wayman

UK supermarkets sign government pledge to crack down on excessive food waste

Over 100 food suppliers, including all major UK supermarkets, have signed a pledge to drive down food waste following a call to action from the government.

Such big brands include: Aldi, Asda, Caffé Nero, Co-op, Costa, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Starbucks, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Nestlé.

These companies are said to have signed a pledge committing to help ‘halve’ food waste by 2030, while raising public awareness of the issue through a week’s worth of campaigning.

Stefano Agostini, chief executive officer of Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “Food waste is a critical issue, from an environmental and social perspective and one where we all have a role to play.

“It is crucially important that we work together to help reduce food waste across our own operations, our supply chains and also support consumers to reduce food waste in the home.”

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

It is estimated that UK householders spend £15m every year on food that could have been eaten but ends up being thrown away.

Today’s announcement (June 13) comes after the government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot urged organisations to ‘Step up to the Plate’ at a landmark symposium in May.

Ben commented: “We are pleased to see these retailers committing to change. To those retailers yet to sign - why not? You have a responsibility to step up, do your bit.”

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

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