A report out tomorrow says that food retailers need to do more in implementing best practice for packs and labelling to help cut household food waste.
The report by WRAP says that changes could help reduce the UK’s annual food waste bill, including binned fruit and vegetables worth nearly £4 billion.
WRAP visited nearly sixty supermarkets and examined 2,000 food products – representing those most frequently wasted in our homes.
The research found that a quarter of all pre-packed unprepared fresh produce now carries no date label, while the available shelf life of other products, such as milk, has increased.
For the first time, each retailer has received a detailed assessment of its own performance, including where improvements are required, which is summarised in the Retail Survey.
Peter Maddox, Director at WRAP, explains “The way food and drink is packaged, labelled and priced can influence household food waste, and retailers and brands are uniquely placed to help minimise food waste in the home.
“Our research shows that people want clear, consistent information on pack to help them keep food fresher for longer. Overall, we’ve seen good progress from all, but we have also been very clear with each company where more work is required, and where they are falling short.”
The results are accompanied by new guidance for the sector for fresh, uncut fruit and vegetables, produced by WRAP, the Food Standards Agency and Defra, and expected to significantly reduce the UK’s annual food waste bill.
The guidance will help retailers identify where more fresh produce can be sold loose and reduce the application of Best Before dates on some pre-packed fresh produce – where it can help reduce food waste at home.