wrap packaging waste

Wrap could require fmcg companies to pay up to £20,000 a year to appear as signatories on Courtauld 2025, following cuts of 38% to its ­government funding.

The waste reduction charity is currently approaching companies individually to discuss direct funding ahead of the launch of C2025 in 2016, The Grocer understands.

The organisation confirmed in March that its income for 2014/15 was down to £40.7m from £66m the year before due primarily to “reductions in central government grant funding”.

It’s thought to be the first time the waste reduction charity has asked companies for direct payments to sign up to its voluntary agreements.

Addressing concerns the change could jeopardise the effectiveness of C2025 at a seminar on UK food waste policy, Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at Wrap, said: “We are considering where business can make a small payment to support other funding. I do understand that does bring additional barriers but there are significant benefits too.”

He added the cost would be kept at a “relatively modest level.”

It is understood payments could work on a sliding scale based on turnover with the largest firms paying about £20,000 a year.

However, a senior source expressed concern to The Grocer that stricter budgets allocated to areas such as CSR in fmcg could mean the move acts as an obstacle for some companies to sign up.

“It’s hard to see how they can reach their more ambitious objectives under C2025 whilst also introducing the fee element,” he added.

There has been widespread criticism of the government’s decision to cut funding to the organisation, which registered as a charity in December 2014.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell would not comment on the decision to approach food and drinks firms but said: “Wrap is essential for the future of dealing and tackling with waste in the UK, and I think it’s unbelievably short-sighted of the government to cut funding and support.”