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New report outlines progress in eradicating food waste from landfill

“Challenges and successes across the board, but the overall picture is extremely positive” – that’s the message from leading food waste recycler, ReFood, as it unveils a new report detailing the UK’s progress in eliminating food waste from landfilll.

New Food Waste Horizons brings together insight, best practice and innovation from UK businesses in reducing, re-using and recycling food waste in all areas of the supply chain. Celebrating successes, outlining areas for improvement and highlighting remaining challenges, the report acts as an update to ReFood’s pioneering Vision 2020 manifesto.

Stakeholders that made valuable contributions to the reports include the Renewable Energy Association, National Farmers Union, Food & Drink Federation, British Retail Consortium and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Commenting on the report, Philip Simpson, commercial director at ReFood, said: “While across the board there have been both challenges and successes, the overall picture is extremely positive. As a nation, we still have a long way to go, but zero waste to landfill is becoming ever-more achievable.

“We have seen the positive impact that technology is having on minimising waste across the supply chain, as well as creating opportunities to share and redistribute unwanted food and re-use or recycle food waste in innovative and exciting ways.

“The commercial, environmental and societal benefits of tackling food waste have gained significant traction over the past few years and it is exciting to see what can be achieved. Challenges remain, not least the lack of consistency in food waste collections at local authority level, but the government’s Waste and Resources Strategy has the potential to provide a perfectly workable policy framework.

“Ultimately, responsibility lies with all of us, with businesses, with government, with local authorities, educators and consumers. We can all play our part, whether by preventing food waste in the home, asking for doggy bags in a restaurant, donating surplus food, or simply taking every opportunity to reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible. The benefits of tackling food waste, as this report shows, have been well-documented and we hope the latest chapter will inspire new initiatives in the future.”

ReFood’s Vision:2020 report was published in 2013 to provide a roadmap to eliminate food waste to landfill. Since launching the report, almost 800 organisations – from universities to Michelin-starred restaurants – have signed up to support the Vision’s ambition.

Simpson concluded: “I believe that celebrating success and progress is hugely important. New Food Waste Horizons does just this, while also re-aligning our path towards achieving a zero food waste future.”

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