Henry Dimbleby’s Government-commissioned National Food Strategy has recommended that all food businesses with more than 250 employees be legally required to publish food waste figures
Boris Johnson‘s food tsar has called on companies to declare the amount of waste they produce – in a victory for The Mail on Sunday’s War on Food Waste campaign.
Henry Dimbleby’s Government-commissioned National Food Strategy has recommended that all food businesses with more than 250 employees be legally required to publish food waste figures – a key demand of our campaign.
The founder of the Leon restaurant chain said that businesses should produce an annual report on food waste to enable scrutiny and ‘maintain public pressure on companies to do the right thing’.
Mr Dimbleby, whose report will influence a White Paper being developed by the Government, said: ‘Slashing the food waste this country produces at all levels is vital, so I am delighted to support The Mail on Sunday’s War on Food Waste campaign.
‘If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the US, which is why reducing the 9.5 million tons of food waste Britain produces overall each year is at the heart of my strategy.’
Under Mr Dimbleby’s proposal, food businesses would report waste and the sales of different types of food via an online portal developed by the Food Standards Agency to ensure standardised reporting. ‘It is hugely important that there is a statutory duty for all food companies to report the levels of waste they produce,’ said Mr Dimbleby.
‘Publishing these numbers means investors, politicians and the public will be able to hold businesses to account and ensure they are doing all they can to reduce the amount of food they waste.’
Some of the UK’s biggest retailers and manufacturers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Iceland Foods, Greggs and Co-Op, have indicated they would be willing to sign up to such a scheme.
Under Mr Dimbleby’s proposal, food businesses would report waste and the sales of different types of food via an online portal developed by the Food Standards Agency to ensure standardised reporting (stock image)
Carina Millstone, executive director of campaign group Feedback, said: ‘Fifteen years of business-led voluntary agreements have led to only 60 of the UK’s top 500 businesses reporting publicly on their food waste figures.
‘Industry has had its chance and squandered it. We now urgently need the Government to step in, and require not only transparency on food waste from businesses but also reduction targets and action.’
Mr Dimbleby has also backed another plank of our campaign – an end to portion pack size rip-offs that mean it is cheaper to buy more food than people need.
His support comes as the MoS today reveals how households are wasting 200,000 tons of food as a result of supermarket price incentives that make large packs better value for money.
Mr Dimbleby said: ‘It is very difficult for parents to buy ingredients in one-portion quantities which leads to food waste. I firmly believe that supermarkets should stop incentivising shoppers to buy more food than they may need.’