• To meet the Courtauld Commitment 2030 food waste target and UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3, collaborative and concerted efforts to reduce food waste are required.
  • Redistributing surplus food is one of the best ways that businesses can help to reduce the amount of food that ends up as waste. 
  • WRAP has previously reported on progress on increasing surplus food redistribution between 2015 and 2020, and this report provides additional data for 2021.

Key findings

  • The amount of surplus redistributed in 2021 was over 106,000 tonnes, worth over £330 million and the equivalent of over 253 million meals. Surplus food redistributed via charitable channels made up 69% of the total in 2021, a proportion that has increased from 40% in 2015. The amounts handled by charities has increased by more than six times over the six-year period, compared with a 97% increase for the commercial sector.
  • Since UK-level data was first reported in 2015, overall levels of redistribution have increased over three-fold. Cumulatively between 2015 and 2021, 426,000 tonnes of surplus food have been redistributed, worth in excess of £1.3 billion pounds and equivalent to more than a billion meals. However, there remains significant opportunities, in the UK food manufacturing, retail, hospitality & food service, and primary production sectors to continue to increase the amount of surplus food made available for redistribution from 2021 and beyond.
  • Since 2017, when WRAP first collected reliable tonnage data by source of food surplus, food surplus from retail has increased by 105% (26,000 tonnes) and manufacture has increased by 74% (18,900 tonnes). Surplus from hospitality & food service saw a 523% increase (5,400 tonnes), albeit from a much smaller base, and there has also been an increase in surplus from farms.

Please note: the report has been updated as of 20 July 2022. This is due to a minor change in the classification of one the organisations' data submission. There have been no significant changes to the headline data.

 

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