Hovis, Warburtons and Premier Foods are among 90 of the UK’s biggest food retailers and suppliers to pledge to halve food waste by 2030 as part of a “ground-breaking” industry roadmap.

Signatories to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap – developed by IGD and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – will implement a three-part strategy to meet the waste reduction target, set as part of the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

The strategy is as follows:

  • Target – set a food waste reduction target for UK operations aligned with, or contributing to, SDG 12.3, which aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
  • Measure – in a consistent way and share what they learn.
  • Act – to reduce their own food waste and work in partnership with suppliers while also helping consumers to make changes.

Large businesses are also asked to publicly report individual UK company results or work towards this best practice and share successes and lesson learned. They are also required to share data with those responsible for tracking and facilitating progress and publishing aggregate data as appropriate – WRAP and trade bodies, for example.

The roadmap encompasses the entire supply chain from field to fork.

The first major milestone on the roadmap is to have 50% of the UK’s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting and acting to reduce food waste by September 2019, with all 250 companies doing so by 2026.

“The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap presents a huge opportunity for every business within the UK food and grocery industry to provide reassurance for shoppers,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.

“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.”

WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover added: “This roadmap is hugely ambitious, and I’m delighted the UK is the first country anywhere to set a nationwide 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.”

WRAP will also launch the Food Waste Atlas in New York today (25 September), billed as the world’s first global reporting portal, to enable the capture and reporting of food loss and waste data in one place. It allows companies and governments to publish and compare their data with others, including businesses supporting the UK roadmap.