Farmers and growers

The issues

Global land-use model projections show that, without changes in diet, food production and food loss and waste, agricultural areas will have to expand in order to meet increased food demand. Future projections indicate that, by 2050, cropland areas may have to be 10 to 25% larger than in 2005.  This makes reconciling global food production with biodiversity conservation one of the major challenges of the 21st century. (Source: WWF Living Planet Report 2020)

Where we work

Food surplus and waste. This can arise on-farm for a range of reasons such as weather damage, pest damage, over production, reduced orders and quality requirements. WRAP's research has highlighted the significant financial, environmental and efficiency benefits of tackling food waste in primary production.

Greenhouse gas emissions. Information on tackling GHG emissions is available here. below you can find more information on how we are working with industry to tackle food waste in primary production.

What is the evidence?

Food waste in primary production in the UK

This report shows that food surplus and waste is estimated at 3.6 million tonnes a year, or 7.2% of all food harvested. This would have a market value of £1.2 billion at farm gate prices.

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A preliminary study on strawberries and lettuces

For the two sectors assessed, WRAP estimated that £30 million ended up as waste in the UK, in 2015. This resulted from a complex set of factors, with forecasting and product specifications, and pest and disease damage, being cited most frequently.

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Increasing profitability in the potato supply chain

Findings from a farm-to-fork assessment with Co-operative Food & Farms, plus wider WRAP research.

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What is WRAP doing?

Pioneering projects are now underway  in response to this evidence - targeting improvements in business performance and resource efficiency. These whole supply chain projects involve farmers and growers, as well as fresh produce, hospitality & food service and retail companies.

The Courtauld Commitment 2030

Our flagship voluntary agreement helping the UK food and drink sector reduce food waste, water stress and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

Developed by the UK food and drink industry in conjunction with WRAP and the IGD to tackle food waste in the UK. The ‘Target Measure Act’ approach is already being expanded to include on-farm measurement, and the data will be used to refine WRAP’s waste estimates.

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Meat in a Net Zero world

A cross-industry vision to optimise productivity and minimise waste from farm to fork.

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Water Ambition

A programme of collective action projects that aim to improve the quality and availability of water in key sourcing areas for the UK’s food & drink.

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Taking action to reduce the 150 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents associated with UK food and drink.

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Additional resources

The Food Surplus Network helps smaller businesses and farmers identify the range of opportunities to market surplus produce.

The Potato Yield Enhancement Network helps growers to benchmark performance and network with like-minded growers to improve their yields and is being supported by WRAP.

Innovative Farmers is the not for profit farmer network delivered by a consortium including LEAF. Innovative Farmers is piloting a farmer-led approach to gathering data on food waste. The work is supported by WRAP, and the resulting data will be used to refine our waste estimates where appropriate.

Our Data Sharing Platform: to share and collate data on food loss, waste and surplus in primary production, on a sector-by-sector basis, including context about the quality of the data, variability, crop type and country.