Sir, Each week sees new stories demonstrating the effect food waste is having on people and the planet. Pressure is mounting on supermarkets to do the right thing, with The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not campaign gathering pace, and a poll released this week on World Food Day by Tearfund showing four in five of its supporters would consider switching their supermarket to one doing more to tackle waste.
Wasting food wastes water, land and energy, and contributes to greenhouse gases, which fuel climate change. We know that the world’s poorest people are hit hardest by climate change; they are the first to struggle to feed themselves when harvests fail.
With the UN reporting last month that global hunger is on the rise for the first time in a decade, it’s a scandal that a third of all food produced in the world is never even eaten.
The recently announced partnership between Tesco and its biggest suppliers to halve their food waste shows the clout that retailers can bring to bear to drive forward progress from farm to fork. Yet other UK retailers are lagging behind.
There remains much for all supermarkets to do: increasing transparency on food waste data, halting the waste of wonky veg and, ultimately, showing how they will halve their food waste by 2030 under the UN Global Goal target. We urge UK supermarkets to bring their leadership on food waste to the table now.
Nigel Harris, Tearfund CEO
Carina Millstone, executive director of Feedback
Lynne Stubbings, chair, National Federation of Women’s Institutes