A new project will calculate the amount of food and packaging waste generated by pre-prepared foods such as pizza, sandwiches and ready meals from supermarkets and identify how it could be reduced.
The research, led by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), will develop detailed ‘resource maps’ to highlight the waste generated for each product type at key stages in the chilled and frozen supply chain, including the home. It will also calculate the associated carbon emissions and water use.
Researchers will collect data for two sandwich fillings, Quiche Lorraine, cheese and tomato pizza and meat lasagne (chilled and frozen) from the factory door to the home.
Best practice guidance covering storage, handling and packaging will then be produced to enable companies in the sector to benchmark themselves against the most efficient supply chains and find ways to minimise waste and cut costs.
Comprehensive industry survey
Data collection, which begins in April, will include a comprehensive industry survey and company-specific resource minimisation reviews, covering 80% of the UK market for the products selected. The findings will be published later this year, but individual company data will remain confidential.
The research is being undertaken by Food Processing Faraday in partnership with the Centre for Value Chain Research at the University of Kent. The Chilled Food Association, the British Frozen Food Federation, the British Sandwich Association and the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Foods Association are also supporting the project.
WRAP has also commissioned resource maps covering other categories, which are approaching completion. These include fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
Companies wishing to take part should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.