A world first: UK food industry commits to a landmark roadmap to halve food waste

Date : 25 September 2018
  • Businesses take the lead to drive down UK’s annual £20 billion food waste bill, equivalent to more than £300 per UK citizen.
  • All major retailers and 50% of larger food businesses to Target-Measure-Act and report on food waste by September 2019.
  • 90 organisations begin epic journey - taking a ‘farm to fork’ approach to commit to a ground-breaking Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to halve food waste.

The UK’s largest retailers, food producers, manufacturers, and hospitality and food service companies have committed to ambitious milestones laid out in a new ground-breaking industry Food Waste Reduction Roadmap; developed with IGD and WRAP to further reduce the UK’s food waste problem* (See Notes for a full list of supporting organisations).

The Roadmap encompasses the entire supply chain from field to fork, and clearly shows the actions large businesses will take to address food waste both in their own operations, and by working to support their suppliers. It also sets out how these businesses can engage with consumers to help reduce their food waste.

The Roadmap has the support of the UK’s largest food trade bodies, businesses across the supply chain and Defra, Welsh and Scottish Governments. Widespread adoption of Target, Measure, Act is vital to achieve national policy objectives and targets on food waste reduction, including Courtauld 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

Today we announce 90 early adopters who are supporting the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap. By September 2019, the first major milestone on the Roadmap, the aim is to have fifty per cent of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste. With all 250 companies doing so by 2026. To make this happen, the Roadmap is published with a wide range of new resources to enable businesses to act consistently, and support work already underway by many companies through setting out a clear collaborative journey the whole industry can follow.

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, explains “Together, WRAP and IGD have mobilised industry leaders to create a bold sector-wide Roadmap, showing clearly what UK businesses must do. This Roadmap is hugely ambitious, and I’m delighted that the UK is the first country anywhere to set a nation-wide plan towards delivering its part in SDG 12.3. There are many businesses working hard already, but many more need to focus on food waste. If the food sector follows this Roadmap it will significantly accelerate work to achieving both Courtauld 2025, and SDG12.3 targets. And I urge other companies to adopt the principles laid out in the Roadmap and join the rest of the sector on this historic journey.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive of IGD said “The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap presents a huge opportunity for every business within the UK food and grocery industry to provide reassurance for shoppers. UK shoppers see industry food waste at the top of their priorities and by working together with the total food chain, we’re delighted to have secured a world first, with the UK leading the way in this important area. As a result, I’m confident we will see continued momentum on this high profile initiative.”

Marcus Gover will also launch The Food Waste Atlas in New York later today at the annual event of Champions 12.3; organised by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Atlas is the world’s first global reporting portal to allow the capture and reporting of global food loss and waste data in one place. Developed between WRAP and WRI**, Atlas allows companies and Governments to publish and compare their data with others, including businesses supporting the UK Roadmap.

Businesses wishing to access the free resources and find out more about the using the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap should click here.


Notes to editor

  • Companies and trade bodies confirmed at time of launch (90)

Retailers (13)
Central England Co-operative
The Co-operative Group

Production / Manufacture (47)
2 Sisters Food Group
A Gomez Ltd
ABP Food Group
Albert Bartlett
AMT Fruit
Aquascot Ltd
Arla Foods
Avara Foods
Bakkavor Group
Branston Ltd
Coca-Cola European Partners GB Ltd
Cranswick PLC
Dairy Crest
dps Ltd
Glinwell PLC
Greencore Group PLC
G's Fresh
Hilton Foods UK
Hovis Ltd
Kepak Group Ltd
Kerry Foods
Kraft Heinz UK
Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Moy Park
Muller UK & Ireland
Nestle UK & Ireland
Noble Foods Ltd
Premier Foods
Procter & Gamble UK
Puffin Produce Ltd
Quorn Foods
Richard Hochfeld Ltd
Samworth Brothers Ltd
Seachill UK Ltd
Tulip Ltd
Unilever UK
Winterbotham Darby
Worldwide Fruit
Yeo Valley
Young’s Seafood Ltd

Hospitality and Food Service businesses (11)
Accor Hotel Services
Castell Howell Foods
Compass Group PLC
Nandos UK & Ireland
OCS Group
Pizza Hut Restaurants

Trade bodies and other supportive organisations (19)
British Beer & Pub Association
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Chilled Food Association
Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges
Federation of Bakers
Institute of Hospitality
Provision Trade Federation
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
Soil Association Food for Life
The Sustainable Restaurant Association
UK Hospitality
Unilever Food Solutions

Additional quotes

  • Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “I congratulate the businesses stepping up to the plate in this ground-breaking commitment. The UK is a global leader in measuring food waste and supporting international food waste prevention projects. It is through government, consumers, and businesses working together that we will continue to tackle the unacceptable issue of unnecessary food waste.”
  • Alice Ellison – Head of Environment, British Retail Consortium “The retail industry is a pioneer in reducing food waste and an early adopter of this roadmap. The causes of food waste are many and varied and it’s this kind of collaboration that’s needed to tackle some of the complexities across the whole supply chain. Leading retailers have committed to address the UN SDGs through our Better Retail Better World initiative and this roadmap defines a clear path for all food businesses to meet SDG 12.3.”
  • Helen Munday, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of Food Safety, Science and Sustainability, Food and Drink Federation, said: “FDF is pleased to support this ground-breaking initiative and in particular the emphasis on all businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste in a consistent way. Working collaboratively to meet both the Courtauld 2025 and UN SDG 12.3 food waste reduction targets on a whole supply chain basis is a key priority for FDF members and aligns very much with the priorities set out in our Ambition 2025.”
  • NFU President Minette Batters “This is an incredibly important initiative by WRAP and IGD, and the NFU is very pleased to be able to support it. Farmers are the first step in the supply chain, producing the raw ingredients that make up the safe, traceable, affordable domestic food supply that helps to feed the nation. As food producers, farmers and growers have a clear role to play in this effort and it is encouraging to see many of our members already commit to cutting food waste in their business. “It’s very clear that a whole supply chain effort is required to effectively reduce our food waste and it is incredibly positive to see the entirety of the industry throw their weight behind this initiative. We are already seeing a lot of innovative work from retailers to utilise as much produce as possible, for example ‘wonky veg’ ranges in supermarkets which have proved popular with shoppers. The NFU is committed to sustainability and transparency, and will continue to engage with the industry to address the food waste challenge.”
  • Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality “We are delighted to support this ambitious nation-wide initiative to reduce food waste. Hospitality businesses are not one to shy away from a challenge and this is an area many of our members and their customers are passionate about. “Our industry is already doing a vast amount to reduce food waste with many having sophisticated food waste reduction strategies in place. This roadmap is a great resource and will help to build on the existing efforts and progress the hard work across the industry and the country. “We are committed to supporting our members reduce their food waste and together with WRAP we can ensure businesses have the tools they need to achieve this common goal. I am confident that we can hit the set target and implore all business to get involved and take part in this important initiative.”
  • *Between 2007 and 2015 the amount of food wasted in the UK (excluding inedible parts) reduced by 19% on a per person basis, or over a million tonnes.
  • Under the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap large businesses are asked to:
    • Target – Set a food waste reduction target for their own UK operations, aligned with or contributing to SDG12.3.
    • Measure – In a consistent way and share what they learn.
    • Act – To reduce their own food waste, to work in partnership with suppliers and to help consumers reduce food waste.
    • Publicly report individual UK company results, or work towards this best practice and share successes and lessons learned. Share data with those responsible for tracking and facilitating progress, and publishing aggregate data as appropriate (e.g. WRAP, trade bodies). Be as robust and transparent as possible.
  • The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap shows what businesses across the whole supply chain need to undertake and there are sector-specific activities underpinning the roadmap, reflecting differences between the sectors. For example, the hospitality and food service sector is responding to the specific challenges of food waste measurement within a complex and fragmented sector by developing a detailed collaborative action plan for March 2019.
  • WRAP will report on progress against the Roadmap milestones in autumn 2019, 2022 and 2026 alongside reports on progress towards the Courtauld Commitment 2025 targets. There will be a final report on SDG12.3 in 2031.
  • WRAP is funded by UK Governments to deliver the Courtauld Commitment 2025 in support of national policy objectives and targets on food waste reduction. Wide adoption of Target Measure Act by the sector is vital to realise these targets. Therefore, WRAP has worked with IGD to develop the roadmap, drawing on the technical capabilities and industry contacts of both organisations to achieve consensus on a practical approach.
  • To meet the national and global targets, collaborative and concerted efforts to reduce food waste are required. These need to focus on preventing food surplus and waste being generated in the first place, redistributing surplus food that does arise, and diverting surplus (that cannot be used to feed people) into animal feed and high value biomaterial processing. Consistent with the food hierarchy, preventing waste arising and ensuring food is eaten by people should always be considered the priority.
  • To help businesses, the IGD and WRAP have produced a wide range of new materials that are freely available to use. These include:
  1. The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap outlining the actions businesses need to take and detailing the journey the food sector must make towards 2030.
  2. A Toolkit to support implementation of Target, Measure, Act, including:
    1. Guidance on setting a target (and baseline)
    2. Summary of the measurement and reporting guidance
    3. Links to resources to support action on food waste prevention in business operations, and checklists for working with suppliers and consumers on reducing food waste along the whole chain
  3. Generic guidance for businesses on food surplus and food waste measurement and reporting, consistent with the international Food Loss & Waste Standard (FLW Standard).
  4. Sector-specific technical guidance for meat, dairy and fresh produce businesses, retailers and hospitality and food service providers.
  5. A common template for business reporting (word), and a data capture sheet (excel).
  6. Case studies
  • The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is a key component of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 and WRAP will work with IGD members and Courtauld 2025 signatories to support and accelerate implementation and cascading good practice across the sector.
  • **The Food Waste Atlas will be launched in New York at the annual event of Champions 12.3, organised by the World Resources Institute (WRI) at 10:00 am EST and 15:00 BST. The Walmart Foundation provided funding to WRI towards the development of The Food Waste Atlas.


  • The UK has had policies aimed at reducing food waste in place since 2007 and food waste prevention targets under a series of voluntary agreements managed by WRAP; Courtauld Commitment One, Two and Three and the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement. WRAP reported on progress against each of these and will detail progress against the Roadmap through the current Courtauld Commitment 2025, which builds on previous achievements.
  • WRAP is a not for profit organisation founded in 2000 which works with governments, businesses and citizens to create a world in which we source and use resources sustainably. Our impact spans the entire life-cycle of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we buy, from production to consumption and beyond.
  • IGD is a research and training charity which sits at the heart of the food and grocery industry. It has a trading subsidiary that provides commercial services. The profits from these commercial services fund the charity. As a charity we exist to upskill people working in or looking to join the food and grocery industry. We also manage initiatives driven by research and best practice relating to science, technology or economics in the food industry.

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