Skip to main content

Consumers wasting too much food

You are here

Consumers wasting too much food

Following on from our recent post on the blog about Tesco’s admission that 28,500 tonnes of food was wasted in its stores and distribution centres in the first six months of this year alone come further news that the big waste problem in the UK is with consumers.
A report from the Global Food Security Programme Food Waste Within Global Food Systems says globally around a quarter of waste is generated during manufacturing processes, although this is largely the inedible (unavoidable) parts of produce. In contrast nearly three quarters of food waste occurs at the consumer stage; with two thirds of this being 'avoidable' waste'.
In the UK the report concludes that households waste up to half of the total food wasted in the UK each year, costing them up to £480/hh/pa - and two thirds of this is avoidable.
Around 40 per cent of fruit and vegetable crops are discarded, the report says, in response to consumer demand on size, shape and the blemish criteria - so called  'ugly' fruit - but it says there is evidence that UK consumers are becoming more prepared to accept these because of concern over food prices and for reasons of sustainability.
The report found that distribution and retail parts of the supply chain generate proportionately low levels of food waste, amounting to around three per cent, or 366,000 tonnes, of overall food waste per year.
And while buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) offers are blamed for encouraging consumer waste, they account of just two per cent of sales.
The reports also notes impact of weather and natural factors on food waste prevention, with a 'substantial' 15-20 per cent of the expected global agricultural yield lost due to weeds, pests and disease, or simply poor forecasting.
As ever – innovative packaging will cut food waste.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.