Tesco has said the industry needs to go further than the commitments of Courtauld 2025 to tackle food waste.
The UK’s biggest retailer said the voluntary initiative’s 20% food reduction target lacked ambition and its reporting recommendations failed to provide the transparency the industry needed to measure and reduce waste.
Although Tesco is a Courtauld signatory along with all major supermarkets, it has urged businesses to sign up to the more ambitious targets set out by the Champions 12.3 group.
The Champions group, which is chaired by Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and includes companies such as Nestlé and Kellogg’s as well as a group of governments and campaign groups, has set a target of halving global food waste by 2030.
Courtauld 2025, which is spearheaded by Wrap, calls for a 20% reduction in food waste in the UK by 2025. Critics including Tesco point out this would leave the UK behind the trajectory needed to meet the 50% reduction target under Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.
Tesco said the industry also needed to “move beyond” Courtauld’s aggregate reporting of industry figures and report “specific company-by-company data”.
Tesco head of food waste reduction Mark Little said: “At the moment, businesses have signed up to a range of targets and commitments aimed at tackling waste. These are all steps in the right direction but we need to go further, which is why we’re calling on more organisations to sign up to the Champions 12.3 goal of halving food loss and waste, from farm to fork.
“We also need more organisations publishing their own data. We’re delighted that 25 of our largest food suppliers have agreed to do this over the next 12 months.”
Tesco’s intervention comes as Courtauld is struggling because of a lack of representation by suppliers.
Last week the government revealed it had written to 10 of the UK’s biggest food businesses urging them to do more to reduce food waste, after MPs expressed dismay at lack of sign up to Courtauld 2025.
A long list of the largest players in the industry have not added their names