Top grocers are to take part in a meeting today to look at ways to eliminate food waste through redistribution to food charities.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) noted that supermarkets involved in the meeting, including Tesco, Asda, The Co-operative Group and Waitrose, invest millions of pounds in an effort to eliminate waste and work hard to manage stock in keeping with demand.
Major retailers across the UK are to meet Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman to discuss the issue and BRC Director of Food and Sustainability Andrew Opie explained the importance of the talks.
“Retailers’ prime objective is eliminating food waste from their operations entirely,” he explained.
“Currently, only five per cent of overall food waste comes from shops. But retailers are long-standing supporters of food charities.
“The businesses involved in today’s meeting are already ensuring that what useable excess stock there is goes to people who need it.”
Also attending the meeting are charities FareShare and FoodCycle, which collect excess stock and pass these useable items to those in need.
While this enables the charities to fairly distribute excess stock offered by grocers, some of the produced available is rejected by the organisations as individual quantities are too small.
Opie added: “As with all of the environmental and community work retailers are involved in, they’re always keen to identify ways of doing it better.
Separately, retailers are doing huge amounts. The enormous progress on packaging shows collaboration and developing a collective understanding is the way to achieve more.
“Looking at this issue as an entire sector is another step forward in reducing food waste and supporting the people who live in our neighbourhoods.”