The food industry is to sit down with Wrap to examine ways to tackle food waste after a report revealed up to £10bn of food is binned each year.
The alarming findings, published this week by Wrap, the Waste & Resources Action Programme, revealed that 440,000 ready meals, 5,500 chickens and 1.3 million unopened yoghurt pots were ditched daily.
Up to £1bn worth of wasted food was still in date, according to the Food We Waste report, which was compiled from analysis of more than 2,100 dustbins.
Wrap said it would now host round-table meetings with food manufacturers and retailers to thrash out potential solutions.
The workshops, which would take place over the next three months, would examine the 'top 10' waste areas such as dairy products and chilled foods. They would also discuss portion sizes and ways of improving information available on how to store food.
"We will look at how we can work with industry and the FSA to address the confusion around sell-by and best-before dates and how we can introduce resealable packs for cheese and dry goods," said Wrap special adviser Mark Barthel.
Of the 4.1 million tonnes of avoidable food waste, 2.5 million tonnes of food was wasted because it was left unused. Of this, 40% - almost one million tonnes - was unopened and 340,000 tonnes was still in date. Cooking and preparing too much food caused an additional 1.6 million tonnes of food waste a year, the report said.
Meanwhile Birds Eye announced this week that it would launch a £500,000 media campaign to highlight the problem. "The recent uplift in frozen sales suggests the message is getting through that freezing food locks in taste and nutrients, meaning frozen tastes just as good as fresh," said general manager Anne Murphy. "Consumers are turning back to the category in a bid to enjoy fresh food without the waste."
Birds Eye added that the latest data for April showed frozen food sales were growing at 4.8% in value and 2.2% in volume, following years of decline.