A number of food industry giants have teamed up to slash the amount of surplus food being wasted.

The new Food Redistribution Industry Working Group had its first meeting last week to assess the systems currently in place, explore potential solutions to increase distribution of surplus food, and build a plan of action.

Those present included Asda, Morrisons, The Co-operative Food Group, Kellogg’s, Two Sisters and Booker. They were joined by food redistribution charity FareShare, the FDF, BRC and WRAP, which chaired the meeting.

“Preventing waste arising not only saves money in tough economic times but also provides environmental savings,” said head of food and drink at Wrap, Andy Dawe.

“Where there is a surplus of food it is important to make sure it’s being used in the best possible way.  The cost of food is rising, and this means that some of the most vulnerable groups in society sometimes struggle to afford food. Increasing food redistribution will help the poorest in society and prevent perfectly good food from going to waste, along with all that went into making it.

“By tackling this with key players across the supply chain we can collectively discover what works and what doesn’t to find the best solutions that we hope will lead to increased redistribution.”

Resource management Minister Lord de Mauley said: “Preventing food waste protects the environment and makes good business sense. Surplus food is an inevitable part of a secure supply chain and this is an excellent means of putting it to good use. I welcome the launch of this working group and look forward to hearing of its progress later this year.”