Got an ethically minded food-related New Years resolution? It could be sourcing more sustainably, paying a fair price for milk, or disposing of your waste in a more environmentally friendly way. Share it with us here, tweet or Facebook us and we would love to share it with the food community.
We suggest we all make a start on trying to waste less food. The Guardian recently ran an article in revealing that Britain was the worst culprit in Europe for wasting food. See full article below.
UK tops chart of EU food waste – The Guardian
In the UK, supermarkets are actually responsible for only a small percentage of food wasted; households are the biggest culprit.
France’s parliament has announced measures to tackle food waste by passing a law banning supermarkets from destroying unsold food. Instead they will be obliged to give it to charities or to put it to other uses such as animal feed.
Last year, the House of Lords conducted an inquiry looking at the cost of food waste across the EU. It reported that an estimated 89m tonnes of food are wasted every year in the EU, which is expected to rise to around 126m tonnes by 2020 if no action is taken, with significant costs to the environment, economy and society.
Between them, Asda, Co-operative Food, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose – accounting for around 87% of the UK grocery market – were responsible for the disposal of 200,000 tonnes of food in 2013.
These supermarkets contributed to just 1.3% of all food waste in the UK in 2013. Again, looking at food waste across the EU, the retail and wholesale sector accounts for 5% of the total food waste arisings. Household food waste contributes the highest proportion, although combined food and drink manufacturing and retail and wholesale would top this.
A 2013 report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers claimed that around 2bn tonnes of food produced in the world each year goes to waste. It also highlighted unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, promotional offers such as buy-one-get-one-free, consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food and poor storage as key contributors to the waste.
In a 2010 report, the European Commission estimated annual food waste generation in the EU 27 at approximately 179kg per capita, or 89m tonnes. The chart above shows how this breaks down by member state.