GWYNNE: Government should end the scandal of food waste

27.01.16 - 77Andrew Gwynne has today shown his support for Kerry McCarthy MP’s Food Waste (Reduction) Bill, which will tackle the scandal of food waste.

We have committed to the UN target of halving food waste by 2030. Suppliers and supermarkets urgently need to take responsibility for reducing the huge amount of waste generated upstream, particularly on farms.

The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill sets out a clear path for reducing the huge amount of food wasted before it even reaches our shopping bags, and for increasing the amount of good surplus food that is donated to charities.

The amount of food wasted in the UK is a scandal. Reducing food waste needs to be addressed urgently. In the EU, up to 50% of edible and healthy food gets wasted and is set to rise by 40% by 2020 if no action is taken. By creating a surplus of – uneaten – food, the global food industry is adding pressure on scarce land and resources, contributing to deforestation, needlessly adding to global greenhouse gas emissions and helping to drive up global food prices. It is a problem which is growing rapidly. The bill will create a sustainable, fair and thorough solution to this scandal.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“It is a scandal that food is being wasted on such a huge scale. Supermarkets must take more responsibility for the large quantities of food waste they cause in their supply chain. We also need to reverse the current situation which can make it cheaper for companies to dispose of good food than donate it to people in need. I hope the UK can lead international efforts to halve food waste by 2030.”

“The bill would promote accountability for large supermarket chains to manage their waste and ensure that good quality produce isn’t wasted while some families are struggling to put food on the table. It would encourage individuals, businesses and public bodies to reduce the amount of food we all waste – reflecting the responsibilities on us all to take action. It is an important step forward for consumers and businesses alike.”

Kerry McCarthy MP said:

“We need urgent action to tackle the scandal of wasted food. The UK is throwing away 15 million tonnes of food a year. But while consumers have reduced their food waste by over 20% since 2007, over half of all food waste occurs before we even buy it.

“Voluntary action by the industry is failing to deliver results so this legislation is essential. My Bill commits us to the UN goal of halving food waste by 2030, setting out a clear path for reducing food waste and ensuring perfectly good surplus food is donated to charities.”

 

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