UK grocery industry sets new waste targets

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UK grocery industry sets supply chain waste targets

The UK grocery industry has set new targets for reducing waste in the supply chain.

It is aiming to prevent or redistribute 75,000 tonnes of waste by 2012, equivalent to 5m wheelie bins of waste never being created in the first place. And it is targeting a further 150,000 tonnes to be diverted from landfill or sewerage by 2012, equivalent to 10m wheelie bins being moved from landfill to recycle.

The targets were announced at the IGD Supply Chain Summit 2010 in London along with the launch of a new online Supply Chain Waste Prevention guide.

According to the IGD, nearly a third of shoppers want food and grocery retailers and manufacturers to focus on reducing waste. IGD consumer research shows 29% of shoppers think reducing waste should be one of the main sustainability priorities for the industry.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Food and grocery businesses are striving continually to reduce waste from their operations. This has resulted in the majority of the product and packaging waste from their supply chain being recycled or recovered, rather than disposed of.

“The industry is now strengthening further its emphasis on supply chain waste prevention. This includes not producing the waste in the first place or redistributing it to alternative markets and charities, such as Fareshare.

“IGD is providing support to our members to help meet these targets by bringing the industry together and sharing case studies and spreading best practice.”

Simon Bailey, customer service director, Unilever UK & Ireland, said: “The companies who have promised to meet these targets are fully committed to reducing the amount of waste we produce as an industry. Our working group has been galvanising support from all parts of these businesses to ensure preventing and managing waste becomes second nature.”

Gavin Chappell, supply chain director, Asda, said: “Consumers these days hate waste of any kind, therefore as retailers, manufacturers, foodservice operators and wholesalers we all have a role to play in ensuring the supply chain is as efficient as possible.

“Our end goal should be to eradicate waste and ensure everything that leaves the factory door gets to its final destination in the same mint condition as when it left.”

The Supply Chain Waste Prevention guide provides practical hints and tips and 42 case studies.
It is designed to help companies prevent and better manage their waste, and so meet the targets.