Food: Waste

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 26th July 2021.

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Photo of Alicia Kearns Alicia Kearns Conservative, Rutland and Melton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will introduce mandatory business food waste reporting by 2022 in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee.

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

We will consult this year on introducing regulations to make the public reporting of food waste volumes mandatory for certain businesses of an appropriate size. By ensuring businesses are measuring and publicly reporting their food waste, we expect to drive action to reduce it.

Due to the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on food and drink businesses, we postponed the launch of this consultation. Some businesses will require time to embed measurement techniques and build confidence in their data. This needs to be balanced alongside the need to continue reducing our food waste, increasing redistribution of surplus and measuring more accurately to understand the scale of the problem. We therefore propose that reporting starts at least one year after regulations are passed. This will offer businesses time to seek guidance and implement measurement techniques within their operations.

Subject to the consultation responses we therefore would be requiring businesses to report food waste in 2024, for food waste measured in the 2023/2024 financial year. This will ensure data is readily available which in turn will allow for comparison and assessment against our national and international targets.

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