17th April 2020

New advice to combat food waste

CTSI has collaborated on a new scheme designed to combat food waste during the Covid-19 crisis.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

The lockdown measures undertaken to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in the UK have led to reports of a rise in food waste by local councils, with stockpiling blamed for some of it. In response to this, CTSI is assisting with the release of advice created jointly by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to consumers and businesses on how to reduce it.

According to WRAP, the UK wastes 6.6 billion tonnes of food annually. The WRAP report found that households are responsible for more than 50% of food waste, throwing away about 4.5 million tonnes each year at the cost of £700 per household. While this figure is a sharp reduction on a decade prior, experts fear that the effects of the pandemic may lead to it rising again.

The guidance encourages consumers to keep their fridges at or below five degrees Celsius and to freeze leftovers and products nearing their use-by date. Businesses are being encouraged to simplify their labelling and provide clear and consistent storage advice on their packages.

CTSI Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said: “We mustn’t lose the gains we’ve made in combating food waste in the UK over the past decade. This advice for consumers and businesses will not only help reduce the effects of the pandemic measures on food waste but will also create a better-informed consumer and business landscape.

“While I have been disgusted by the unscrupulous activities of some companies, most have been a credit to UK business, and I am confident that they will take on board this advice for the good of our country.”

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