Food Waste Strategy
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. We are taking action to reduce food waste not just within our own farms and factories, but across our entire value chain. As part of our Second Nature sustainability programme, we have pledged to become a zero food waste business by 2030 – this means eliminating food losses and waste entirely from our operations.
To help us do this, we 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. We have also signed up to the Courtauld Commitment 2025 where we 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 our 16 sites, we have measured where, and how, various food losses and wastes occur within our 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 we 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 trialling of new technology to tackle some of our 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, we will be piloting a staff e-learning programme at two of our sites to encourage best practice on meat handling and processing
Click here to view our food loss and waste positioning statement.