Counting the Cost of Food Waste: EU Food Waste Prevention - European Union Committee Contents


Courtauld Commitment

The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement that was launched in 2005. Its aim is to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste within the UK grocery sector.

The agreement is funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments and is delivered by WRAP. Responsible for the agreement, WRAP works in partnership with retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and suppliers who sign up and support the delivery of targets.

The agreement is currently in its third phase, 'Courtauld Commitment 3', with each phase covering a specific period of time and particular focus:

Courtauld Commitment 1 (2005-2009)

This phase focused on bringing food waste on the agenda, and looked at new solutions and technologies so that less food and primary packaging ended up as household waste. Over Phase 1, 1.2 million tonnes of food and packaging waste was prevented, which is equivalent to a saving of £1.8 billion and 3.3 million tonnes of CO2. Examples of efforts made included The Co-operative introducing food storage tips on fresh produce bags and grocery retailers achieving major reductions in Easter egg packaging.

Courtauld Commitment 2 (2010-2012)

Phase 2 built on Phase 1, with a continued aim of reducing primary packaging and household food and drink waste, but additionally included secondary and tertiary packaging, and supply chain waste. This phase focused more on reducing the carbon impact of packaging. During Phase 2, 1.7 million tonnes of waste was reduced, with a monetary value of £3.1 billion and a reduction of 4.8 million tonnes of CO2. Examples of efforts during this phase included Asda increasing the shelf life of over 1,500 products and the introduction of the Heinz Beanz reclosable 'fridge pack'.

Courtauld Commitment 3 (2013-2015)

The current phase hopes to deliver sustainable growth, save money and reduce environmental impact by focusing further on food and drink waste reduction. It will aim to achieve this by reducing food waste (such as in the home and supply chain), reducing retail and manufacturing waste, and improving packaging design.

Phase 3 has three targets:

·  Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% by 2015;

·  Reduce traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3% by 2015; and

·  Improve packaging through the supply chain to maximise recycled content as appropriate, improve recyclability and deliver product protection (to reduce food waste).

Achieving the above targets during this phase could deliver a reduction of 1.1 million tonnes of waste, save £1.6 billion and 2.9 million tonnes of CO2.[318]

'Fresher for Longer' Campaign

WRAP's 'Fresher for Longer' behaviour change campaign in 2013 was aimed at explaining to consumers the function of packaging. It achieved this by bringing together retailers, industry, local authorities and the public. The campaign involved in-store activity showcasing best practice on packaging information to help customers understand and use date labels, get the best information on food storage, and advice on the best packaging to keep food fresher for longer.[319]

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement

The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement is a voluntary agreement established by WRAP to support the sector in reducing waste and recycling more. According to research by WRAP, more than 1.3 billion meals are wasted in the UK's hospitality and food service sector every year.

The Agreement is made up of signatories from different sized organisations (whether large or small), and range from sector wholesalers/distributors to trade bodies.

WRAP has worked closely with interested and relevant organisations and individuals to determine the targets for the Agreement. These targets are owned by WRAP and collectively delivered by signatories. WRAP delivers this Agreement across the UK through its national programmes, including Zero Waste Scotland.

The Agreement's targets:

·  Prevention target: Reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015. This will be against a 2012 baseline and will be measured by CO2 emissions.

·  Waste management target: Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste being recycled, sent to AD or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015.[320]

Product Sustainability Forum

The Product Sustainability Forum is a collaboration of organisations made up of grocery and home improvement retailers and suppliers, academics, NGOs and UK Government representatives. It provides a platform for these organisations to work together to measure, improve and communicate the environmental performance of the grocery and home improvement products. WRAP provides the Secretariat for the forum.[321]

318   The Courtauld Commitment, WRAP Back

319   WRAP Back

320   The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, WRAP  Back

321   Product Sustainability Forum, WRAP  Back

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