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Food: Waste

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce food waste.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In December 2018, the Government launched its Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out a new approach to address food waste from farm to fork.

We support the Waste Resources Action Programme and the Courtauld 2025 Commitment which aims to reduce UK food waste by 20% per capita by 2025 from a 2015 baseline. This will be achieved through cross-sector programmes including consumer campaigns, such as Love Food Hate Waste, and by working closely with business signatories on whole supply chain resource efficiency approaches. The most recent milestone report for Courtauld 2025 in January 2020 showed a reduction of 480,000 tonnes of food waste 2015-18, equating to a 7% reduction per person.

In 2018, a £15 million food waste fund was announced to do more to tackle food waste and make sure surplus food goes to those who have a need. Grants have been awarded to food redistribution organisations such as FareShare and the Felix Project to redistribute more food through providing infrastructure such as fridges and vehicles.

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, £5.1 million has been specifically made available to help redistribute surplus food to vulnerable people including £1.8 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport fund in support of charities.

This effort is now aided by Defra's Food Surplus and Waste Champion, Ben Elliott, who works with key businesses and individuals who have pledged to take action on food waste.

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