Food waste (1)

A staggering 3.3 million tonnes of food are going to waste before it even leaves the farmgate in the UK. The fact it’s being allowed to happen when tens of thousands of families are in the grip of food poverty makes it even more unacceptable.

That bombshell finding, in a report by leading food waste expert Professor Julian Parfitt, on behalf of Tesco and WWF – full details of which were published in December – is more than double previous estimates.

Ministers have been urged to step in to stop the vast quantities of food going to waste when charities on the frontline report they are running out of food for the hungry, after the government reneged on a previous £15m commitment to fund redistribution secured in The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not Campaign in 2016. Those calls have fallen on deaf ears despite food charity FareShare proving, overwhelmingly, its effectiveness with a fraction of that amount.

At the same time, figures from Wrap show total food waste from suppliers (including that classed as inedible) has grown by 100,000 tonnes from 2018, with almost two-thirds seeing the amount of waste increase. Worrying signs that the war on food waste is in danger of being lost.