Supermarkets: Food

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 2 May 2023.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department has made an estimate of the quantity of food rejected each month by supermarkets on cosmetic grounds; and if she will make an assessment of the potential impact such policies have on farmers and food producers.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to preventing and dealing with food waste in the most environmentally beneficial manner according to the Food Surplus Food and Waste Hierarchy. A holistic programme of action is in place across businesses and households from farm to fork to make this happen.

Quality specifications are one of the drivers of food waste in the supply chain and on farm, but there are many other drivers too, e.g. weather, pest and disease, crop management, supply and demand factors. There is no reliable data quantifying the amount of waste driven by any one cause.

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