Global retailers rally around common food waste standards
Multinational food and beverage company
and British supermarket chain
have become the first private sector organisations to publicly endorse a new
Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard
that was launched last week by the
World Resources Institute
and partners at the
Global Green Growth Forum 2016 Summit
in Copenhagen. “We are pleased to have been the first UK retailer to publish third party-assured food waste data. Not only has this allowed us to identify food waste hotspots in our own operations, it has also helped us take action in those areas of food loss and waste,” said Dave Lewis, CEO at Tesco. “The new [Food Loss and Waste] Standard provides a common framework for measuring food loss and waste, and I hope this will enable others to publish their own data,” he added. As the first international framework for measuring food loss and during its transportation from where it is produced to where it is eaten, the new standard comes as governments and businesses seek to curb a trend that results in US$940 billion a year in lost economic value, and which does little for the 800 million people that remain undernourished worldwide. The creation of the new standards is seen as crucial in establishing where food loss and waste occurs within national borders, operations, and supply chains, as well as achieving Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which calls for food waste to be halved by 2030. At present, inconsistent definitions have made it hard to make use of existing food data. The running definition of food loss takes in any impactful decrease in quantity or quality of food, while food waste pertains to the unnecessary disposal or spoiling of otherwise edible nourishment. “I am convinced that by working together, we can develop effective solutions to reduce food loss and waste, to help the world meet Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3, said Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé. “We are already committed to sending zero waste for disposal from our sites by 2020. The Food Loss and Waste Protocol is instrumental to help achieve this.” Nestlé is a member of
Champions 12.3
, a coalition of executives from governments, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, farmer groups, and civil society working to reduce food loss and waste. Meanwhile, partners behind the creation of the standard include the
Food and Agriculture Organisation
United Nations Environment Programme
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
Waste and Resources Action Programme,
World Resources Institute, and the
Consumer Goods Forum
. The Consumer Goods Forum, which represents more than 400 of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries, will use the standard for measuring baselines and progress among its members after they agreed to halve food waste in their operations by 2025, last year.
By Adam Pitt
Photo: Neil Palmer