Combatting Food Loss and Waste

For every two tonnes of food we eat in the UK, another tonne is wasted. Much of this waste occurs in the supply chain, before food products hit the supermarket shelves. In the manufacturing sector alone, 1.85 million tonnes of food is wasted each year.


The good news is that much of this waste is avoidable. Cranswick are now taking action to reduce food waste not just within their own farms and factories, but across their entire value chain. As part of Cranswick’s Second Nature sustainability programme, they have pledged to become a zero food waste business by 2030 – this means eliminating food losses and waste entirely from all operations.


To help do this, they have become a member of Friends of Champions 12.3 – a group of companies and organisations committed to achieving target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to halve per capita global food waste by 2030. They have also signed up to the Courtauld Commitment 2025 whereby they will be working with others across the food supply chain to reduce food waste and the greenhouse gas intensity of food consumed by 20%.


Across each of the 16 sites, they have measured where, and how, various food losses and wastes occur within production processes. In 2017, food waste accounted for just over 1% of all food produced across the business – the vast majority of that waste is avoidable and Cranswick have developed a comprehensive action plan to tackle this.


Highlights so far include:

  • The development of new markets for animal carcass parts such as organs, heads and bones that previously would have gone to waste
  • The trialing of new technology to tackle some of the most challenging waste streams such as a pigging system to remove food from machine pipes, thereby reducing food waste tonnages by 42 tonnes a year
  • The launch of a major initiative to fight food poverty in Hull, helping to feed 20,000 children living below the poverty line. In the first six weeks, 358 food items were saved from going to waste
  • The launch of Future Factory – a company-wide programme to test innovative ideas to prevent and reduce food waste. As part of this, Cranswick will be piloting a staff e-learning programme at two of their sites to encourage best practice on meat handling and processing


To read more on Cranswick’s Food Loss and Waste Strategy, click here.