The pilot Love Food Hate Waste scheme had cut avoidable food waste by 14% within six months, according to Dr Liz Goodwin, ceo of anti-waste body Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The London Waste and Recycling Board, the Greater London Authority, WRAP and the West London Waste Authority participated in the programme, which is designed to slash avoidable food waste by raising consumer awareness of how to tackle it.
“Over the next two years, this model will be rolled out by WRAP across 10 cities nationwide, creating more opportunities for significant food waste reductions in the UK,” she announced.
“We will be talking to local authorities in those areas identified, along with retailers and brands to come together to deliver the campaigns making a real difference to communities and levels of food waste across the country.”
WRAP had opened talks to secure the support of one retailer and one food or drink brand in each of these areas, said Emma Marsh, WRAP programme area manager, consumer food waste prevention.
Budgets were being finalised and Marsh told FoodManufacture.co.uk at the event: “We hope to have spoken to retailers and brands by the end of March.”
In addition to the 10 cities campaign, WRAP aimed to commission further consumer research to get to the root of the food waste problem.
“This year, WRAP will go one step further, with the launch of the next phase of this work, which will identify what groups of people waste different types of food and why, and looking at how much of this food is still in date and in pack,” Goodwin told delegates.
“The people and products work will offer ground-breaking insights into the world of food waste, which empowers us collectively to see where the problem areas are so we can take action.”
More had to be done to tackle consumers’ misconceptions, said Marsh. For example, consumer research suggested that many people believed packaged fresh produce would sweat and spoil if not removed from the packaging it had been sold in after returning from shopping.
However, in most cases this packaging had been specially designed to be breathable and add to shelf life. As a result, removing it would lead to food spoiling quicker, said Marsh.