It said that against a backdrop of rising food prices and impacts on the supply chain, the collective efforts of the UK’s retailers, food manufacturers, hospitality, food service businesses and voluntary sector have still managed an impressive 16% increase in surplus food redistribution in 2021.
It added that in that year alone, more than 106,000 tonnes of surplus food - the equivalent of 253m meals - were redistributed via charitable and commercial outlets with a value of more than £330M.
WRAP revealed that the commercial sector took the bulk of surplus food from manufacturers in 2021, with retail the largest supplier to the charitable sector. It said that the hospitality and food service sector continues to increase the tonnage of surplus food it redistributes.
“It’s devastating to see how much food continues to be wasted from supply chains when so many people are struggling to afford the basics and food redistributors say they can take more. Whilst we welcome the increased amount of food being redistributed in the UK, we know there is a huge amount of good food – 200,000 tonnes of it every year – that could be feeding people,” said Catherine David, director for collaboration and change at WRAP.
“Wasting food also feeds climate change, as all the resources taken to produce the food are thrown in the bin with it. We urge all food businesses and their suppliers to adopt our guidance on redistribution as a priority and help more food get to the people who need it. The surplus food is there, and there is so much more that could be saved at this difficult time for UK families.”
WRAP published best practice guidance o drive up redistribution of own-label surplus food products within the supply chain.
In order to tackle food waste many organisations have taken different approaches.
For example, Morrisons announced plans to scrap use-by dates on its own-label milk packaging by the end of January 2022, in a bid to prevent waste.