07 May 2019, 12:35 PM
  • Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot and Environment Secretary Michael Gove are urging businesses and individuals to work together to eliminate food waste
Together, we must end the moral, economic, and environmental scandal of food waste”

The government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot is urging organisations and individuals to take “ground-breaking” action to drive down food waste.

The ask came ahead of symposium ‘Step up to the Plate’ taking place on 13th May, which is by Ben alongside Environment Secretary Michael Gove at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. The food waste symposium will run alongside the V&A’s FOOD: Bigger than the Plate exhibition, which opens on 18th May.

Attendees will be expected to sign up to a number of commitments on measuring and reducing their own food waste and inspiring others to follow their lead. These include:

1. Setting an ambitious target to halve food waste by 2030 in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3

2. Adopting the WRAP and IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to have half of all 250 of the of the UK’s largest food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by 2019

3. Embracing a Food Conversation week of action in November 2019 to highlight the changes we can all make

4. Using their voice and profile to empower and encourage citizens, including the younger generation

5. Changing their habits as an individual to be Food Value Champion at work and at home, buying only what they need and eating what they buy

Around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year. It is also estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food is edible and readily available but goes to waste. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, or animal feed.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, “Together, we must end the moral, economic, and environmental scandal of food waste. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but I urge businesses to join me in signing the pledge so we can bring about real change.

“Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food goes uneaten. It’s time to join together and ‘Step up to the Plate’ to stop good food going to waste.”

Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot added, “Wasting food is an environmental, moral and financial scandal. We intend for the symposium and pledge to spark action, not just conversation, and inspire us all to champion change. It’s time to ‘Step up to the Plate’.”

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