Food and drink industry commits to halving food waste and emissions by 2030

The charity behind the commitment claims the agreement will save 2.6m tonnes of food waste between 2025 and 2030 – the equivalent of 6.2bn meals

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Under a new agreement, a portion of the UK’s food and drink industry has committed to halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and food waste by 2030.

The Courtauld Commitment, spearheaded by charity WRAP, has had more than 80 businesses sign up and focuses on measuring carbon across the entire food chain.

WRAP has stated Courtauld aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to cut food waste and now has a membership of more than 90% of UK food retail businesses, as well as manufacturers, farmers, redistributors, charities and more.

The original agreement was set until 2025 but will now be extended to 2030.

WRAP claims this extension will save 2,600,000 tonnes of food waste between 2025 and 2030, saving food worth £8 billion or the equivalent of 6.2 billion meals.

Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved under the Courtauld Commitment 2025 during the last 5 years – but with COP26 fast approaching, the new Courtauld Commitment 2030 has been refreshed to build on this success and meet newer demands of climate action head-on.

“Courtauld has always addressed the most significant sustainability challenges that the sector faces; carbon reduction, improved water stewardship and food waste. Climate change is the biggest threat we all face and fixing food is vital.

“I believe Courtauld has never been more important as only fundamental change can reset our fragile global food system into a sustainable model that will feed us in the future and cut greenhouse gas emissions towards net zero.”

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, commented: “Our food and drink industry has a hugely important role to play in addressing the urgent challenges of climate change and sustainability.

“The UK is a world leader in combating food waste, which fell by 480,000 tonnes between 2015 and 2018. But we must go further; not only by stopping more food being chucked away needlessly but also by slashing the resources consumed by the sector, to help us achieve net zero.

“The Courtauld Agreement has been a great success in bringing organisations together to create a more sustainable industry and these new, far-reaching goals for 2030 will take this to the next level as we head into COP26.”