Meat processors and retailers have insisted that they are making sufficient effort to reduce food waste in the UK.
The issue was raised following the publication of the International Development Committee’s report on food security, which suggested retailers and manufacturers be penalised for wasting food.
The report said that between 30% and 50% of global food was wasted and recommended that the government “redouble its efforts” to reduce the level of food waste in the UK. “The government should also set targets for food waste reduction for producers and retailers and introduce sanctions for failure to meet the targets,” it said.
British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) director Stephen Rossides said his organisation supported the principle of reducing “unnecessary food wastage”.
“This, for example, was one of the reasons why we objected to the Commission’s actions in relation to desinewed meat (DSM) and mechanically separated meat (MSM) - in other words, that losing DSM would merely add to food waste and would also increase the environmental impact of waste disposal,” he said.
Meanwhile, environment policy advisor for the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Alice Ellison said retailers in the UK had already taken a lot of measures against food waste, because any wastage is a dent in their profits. “There’s the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which retailers are a part of. Retailers also have their own food waste campaigns,” she said.
Ellison noted that UK retailers were on track to achieve a 20% reduction on food waste levels by 2020, compared to levels in 2005.