It is a scandal that millions of tonnes of good quality food are being thrown away in Britain each year, Alex Cunningham has said, and Government intervention is needed in order to bring an end to these shocking levels of waste.
The Stockton North MP, who is also Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment, was speaking in support of the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill being presented by Kerry McCarthy MP which will attempt to tackle the monumental scale of food waste.
The UK has committed to UN targets of halving food waste by 2030. But, while consumers have already reduced their food waste by over 20 per cent since 2007, over half of all food waste occurs before shoppers even have a chance to buy it. Suppliers and supermarkets therefore urgently need to take responsibility for reducing the huge amount of waste generated upstream, particularly on farms.
The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill sets out a clear path for reducing the huge amount of food wasted before it even reaches the shelves, and for increasing the amount of surplus food that is donated to charities.
“It’s a scandal that food is being wasted on such a huge scale. Supermarkets must take more responsibility for the large quantities of food waste they cause in their supply chain.
“We also need to reverse the current situation that often makes it cheaper for companies to dispose of good food than donate it to people in need, and I hope the UK can lead international efforts to halve food waste by 2030.”
Kerry McCarthy said:
“We need urgent action to tackle the scandal of wasted food. The UK is throwing away 15 million tonnes of food a year but, while consumers have reduced their food waste by over 20 per cent since 2007, over half of all food waste occurs before we even buy it.
“Voluntary action by the industry is failing to deliver results so this legislation is essential. My Bill commits us to the UN goal of halving food waste by 2030, setting out a clear path for reducing food waste and ensuring perfectly good surplus food is donated to charities.”