Wrap launches new Courtauld pledge

15th March 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Local government ,
  • Retail and wholesale


Harry Collins

Retailers, manufacturers and trade bodies have signed up to a new set of targets covering waste, greenhouse gases and water use in the supply chain, with local authorities and the farming sector involved for the first time.

The voluntary targets, unveiled by resource efficiency body Wrap, form the next phase of the Courtauld Commitment, which will run to 2025. Targets include a 20% cut in UK food and drink waste and a similar reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK.

Global supply chain water use will also come under scrutiny, although there is no specific target. Wrap said it is working with WWF on a metric and target for water.

The baseline for all measurements will be 2015, with the exact figure determined this year from the data Wrap receives on progress against the most recent phase of the commitment and the hospitality and food service agreement as well as other information, such as progress against climate change targets, according to a spokesperson.

The organisation says bringing all parties together in one agreement will help it develop a ‘whole system approach’ to the way food and drink is produced. Firms signing up to the commitment pledge to help other businesses and the public to realise savings.

The new targets will prevent around 10 million tonnes of food waste and the generation of 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gases between 2015 and 2025, Wrap claimed.

The waste target relates only to that produced after food has left the farm. According to Wrap, there is currently no definitive figure for on-farm waste, so it working on developing and eventually including it in the commitment. The spokesperson said: ‘Once we have an idea of what the waste looks like on-farm, then we can come up with a target.’

This is a similar to the process Wrap adopted when developing targets for household waste, he said. The organsiation plans to include waste produced at farms after a review in 2018.

It is unclear if farm produce discarded for failing to meet aesthetic standards set by retailers, which was highlighted by chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall in the BBC series Hugh’s War on Waste, would be specifically tackled.

The spokesperson said: ‘Part of the whole process is to find out what the issues are. The major retailers are on board and they’re fully aware of what the process will look like, that they will be working with farmers more, to have those discourses and look at where the hotspots arise.

‘This is a fresh new agreement, and the first time farming has been specifically included, it’s early days.’

Progress against the targets will be reported in 2018, 2021 and 2025, and progress by signatories will be reported annually, said Wrap.


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