Increasing the amount of food surplus that is redistributed from food businesses is a key strand of the strategy to reduce food waste, to deliver the Courtauld Commitment 2025 (Courtauld 2025) target and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. There has been a significant increase in activities aimed at achieving this, with good progress being made over recent years (Surplus Food Redistribution in the UK; 2015 to 2017).
However, WRAPs research shows food redistributed from manufacturers and retailers could increase further by more than 200,000 tonnes, and there is potential to source greater amounts of surplus food from other parts of the supply chain such as primary production and the hospitality and food service sector. Many organisations, including Governments, WRAP itself, food businesses and those involved in carrying out the redistribution of surplus food, are reporting in some form on the amounts of food that are redistributed. There is currently inconsistency in how the amount of food redistributed is being conveyed, and the Courtauld 2025 Redistribution Working Group agreed that this should be addressed. This guidance note stems from the discussions with the Working Group, and applies to all instances where the amounts of food surplus redistributed are referred to (including for example at a UK and national level, annual reporting from individual organisations and the outcomes from specific projects or interventions).
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