Increasing a product’s shelf life by just one day across a range of high-waste foods could prevent 250,000 tonnes of food waste every year, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has estimated.
The organisation examined a range of popular foods with relatively high levels of food waste, identifying “simple and safe changes throughout the supply chain” that would widen the choice offered to consumers. WRAP then scaled-up its data from the sample group to determine how much waste could be prevented in the UK.
It has published five recommendations, which it has claimed provide a compelling argument for food and drink manufacturers.
Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems for WRAP, said: “The findings in our report are a real opportunity for industry. By implementing these simple recommendations, food manufacturers and retailers can make a big difference in the battle against food waste, without even having to change products and packaging. We estimate that shoppers could save upwards of £500m, and businesses could save £100m in waste prevention alone.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to take action here – we’ve identified the business case based on savings in the true cost of waste and the potential for increased sales from better availability. Today’s report is part of our continuing work to reduce food waste and we’re keen to work with industry on how best to act on this information.”
Dr Linden Jack, head of the food hygiene policy branch for the Food Standards Agency, added: “We welcome these recommendations and believe they offer sensible proposals which could enable the life of a product to be extended without compromising food safety.”
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