Food Waste Reduction Roadmap steps up a gear to 2030 target

2 March 2023

  • WRAP and IGD take action to accelerate progress to reach the Courtauld Commitment 2030 food waste and Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 targets.
  • Factors affecting the food supply chain such as the pandemic, Brexit and the war in Ukraine have played a significant role in the need for the Roadmap refresh.
  • Food businesses urged to commit and implement ‘Target, Measure, Act’ principles to ensure they future-proof their business for potential regulatory requirements.

What is the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap?

The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap is the key delivery mechanism for the food waste target for the Courtauld Commitment 2030.

In 2018, leading climate action NGO, WRAP, and IGD developed a roadmap for how the UK food industry will help to deliver the UK’s part in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3  to halve food waste per capita by 2030. The development of the Roadmap consulted with businesses, trade bodies, agriculture, production, manufacturing, retail and hospitality and food service.

As of December 2022, 351 UK organisations committed to ‘Target, Measure, Act’ to cut their food waste, working in partnership with their suppliers and supporting consumers in reducing their food waste.

What is changing?

  • The Target remains aligned to SDG target 12.3, but the milestones across ‘Target, Measure, Act’ have been adjusted to reflect the progress made to date and what needs to happen to achieve the approaching ambitious target.
  • Target: Emphasising that best practice is to set a target that ‘meets or exceeds’ SDG target 12.3.
  • Measure: Clarifying that ‘measure’ means ‘measure and report to WRAP.’
  • Act: There are now separate milestones for each of the three action areas of operational food waste, collaborative action and citizen food waste so that progress can be tracked, and relevant action taken to accelerate progress further if required.
  • New publications including four sector-specific action lists and a refreshed Executive Summary. The sector-specific action lists provide additional guidance to businesses on the action they should be taking, plus a list of recommended actions for supply chain collaboration and helping citizens reduce waste.
  • The changes will help businesses to prepare for current and potential new regulation, including helping businesses move towards a position of mandatory reporting should it be required.  

Helen Bird, Head of Business Collaboration at WRAP, said: “There has never been greater urgency for businesses to tackle the issue of wasted food for the benefit of people, planet and profit. Four years since the launch of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, it is helping more businesses than ever before. Our latest data unsurprisingly highlights that the longer businesses are working towards the targets, measuring progress, and taking action, the greater the reductions in reported food waste. Signing up to the Roadmap and the Courtauld Commitment should be on the agenda for every food business CEO and Finance Director. It provides practical advice to save food waste while cutting costs and the associated GHG emissions across the supply chain.”

Mark Little, Director of Health and Sustainability Programmes at IGD, said: “The Food Waste Reduction Roadmap has made significant progress in the four years since launch, often against the backdrop of a hugely challenging external environment. This goes to show the genuine drive our industry has to create tangible, positive change on the issues that matter to us all. As well as the environmental and social imperative for businesses to reduce their food waste, there’s also a compelling business case to do so. At IGD, we have an ambition to accelerate progress towards a sustainable food system; it’s therefore crucial we keep mobilising our industry to reduce food waste, and we look forward to supporting our industry to Target, Measure and Act on food waste following the refresh.”

What has the Roadmap already achieved?

The Roadmap has seen good progress in the past four years with WRAP reporting that, in 2022:

  • 351 organisations including trade bodies, redistribution organisations, companies involved in waste management committed to the Roadmap, an increase of 10% on the previous year.
  • 221 large businesses are implementing ‘Target, Measure, Act,’ an increase of 7% on the previous year.
  • 89% of large businesses that signed up are now following through on that commitment by providing evidence of how they have implemented ‘Target, Measure, Act.’

WRAP urges food businesses across the supply chain to sign up to and implement the refreshed Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to achieve SDG 12.3 and ensure their organisations are ready for any future regulatory requirements surrounding food waste.  Businesses can get more support through joining the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and work towards the three targets of food waste, carbon and water.

Notes to Editor

Notes to editors

  • Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Progress Report 2022
  • The Courtauld Commitment 2030 is the leading established voluntary agreement in the food & drink industry in the UK, combatting climate change and transforming the UK’s food system. Courtauld 2030 and the ‘Target, Measure, Act’ approach have been so successful that we have now replicated it with partners in a growing number of territories around the world. By enabling collaborative action across the entire UK food chain and delivering farm-to-fork reductions in food waste, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water stress, we are ensuring that the UK food and drink sector achieves global environmental goals. In a world where the effects of climate change are becoming ever more visible and damaging, and the security of our food supply is being tested to its limits, it’s ever more important that everyone contributes to play their part in achieving these targets.
  • WRAP is a climate action NGO working around the globe to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future. Our vision is a thriving world in which climate change is no longer a problem. We believe that our natural resources should not be wasted and that everything we use should be re-used and recycled. We bring together and work with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. Our core purpose is to help tackle climate change and protect our planet by changing the way things are produced, consumed and disposed of. Our work includes: UK Plastics Pact, Courtauld Commitment 2030, Textiles 2030 and the citizen campaigns Love Food Hate Waste, Clear on Plastics and Recycle Now. WRAP runs Food Waste Action Week and Recycle Week.
  • Contact: Frances Armitage, Senior Media Relations Specialist: [email protected]  for more information and interview requests with WRAP spokespeople.