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Food Waste

Volume 742: debated on Thursday 7 December 2023

The UK is an international leader in tackling food waste, which has fallen by 17% since 2007 or the equivalent of 26 kg per person. This year, over £2 million will go to our food waste prevention programme and we have a groundbreaking industry initiative, helping to redistribute more food than ever before.

As I understand it, a third of all food is wasted, which contributes around 9% of greenhouse emissions and costs our economy about £20 billion a year. Will the Secretary of State consider introducing policies that reduce food waste across the supply chain, such as improved food waste reporting from industry, so that we can target, measure and act on food waste for the sake not only of our economy, but our planet?

My hon. Friend raises an extremely important point. Some 60% of food waste is wasted in the home, but the Courtauld commitment includes a groundbreaking voluntary agreement with industry that has doubled the amount of food redistributed in the last two years.

As the Secretary of State rightly says, if we are going to reduce food waste, that starts with everybody participating, including people at home and retail businesses. In Strangford, Asda, Tesco and Lidl all redistribute food waste to local community groups before it goes bad and becomes unpalatable. Does the Secretary of State welcome that? It underlines the fact that everyone needs to participate in the reduction of food waste, starting with the supermarkets, people in their houses and the Government?

The hon. Gentleman is right that the issue applies to all parties, which is why we fund Love Food Hate Waste and the Food Waste Action Week campaigns to raise awareness. Food waste is down 17% since 2007 and we have doubled the amount of food redistributed since 2019, so significant progress has been made, but there is more to do and those information campaigns play a key role in getting that message across.

Question 2 is in the name of Bob Blackman, but I see that he is not present. Will the Minister answer Question 7, which is grouped with it?