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Unsold Food

Volume 515: debated on Thursday 9 September 2010

21. What recent estimate her Department has made of the retail value of food discarded because it is unsold or unused; and if she will make a statement. (14192)

Studies by the Waste and Resources Action Programme estimate the cost of waste generated across the UK food and drink supply chain and by households at around £17 billion every year. It is estimated that the average household unnecessarily wastes around £480 of food per year. The waste policy review announced by the Secretary of State will look at policies surrounding food waste, to see what can be done to further reduce the amount that ends up in landfill.

Portsmouth is producing a recipe book focused on using leftover food in order to raise awareness of the issue, proceeds from which are donated to local charities. Will the Minister support such initiatives, and encourage his ministerial colleagues to donate recipes to the book?

I can already think of one recipe that I would be happy to donate; I will not share it with the House as Members on the Opposition Front Bench might be upset to know that it contains meat. My hon. Friend makes a serious point, however, and this builds on initiatives such as “Love food hate waste”. I pay tribute to Portsmouth for coming forward with these ideas and I will certainly be interested, as will my noble Friend Lord Henley, in finding other instances where that has been done in a local area.