As part of its strategy to reduce food waste, WRAP is calling for proposals from food industry partnerships to develop innovative solutions to food waste throughout the retail supply chain and in the home.

With food production and consumption accounting for 18% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and overall food waste thought to be around 18 – 20 million tonnes, WRAP is building on its existing drive to reduce household food waste by extending the scope of its work to make better use of resources all the way through the supply chain, from manufacture, distribution and back of store.

As part of WRAP’s work, industry workshops were held in London and Leeds this September to discuss new insights from its pioneering research report, “The Food We Waste”. A number of potential solutions to reduce food waste were identified, from improved storage guidance for consumers, more consistent date labelling and a greater range of pack sizes through to packaging changes aimed at increasing shelf life. WRAP is now inviting proposals for projects to develop and trial innovative approaches and solutions to reduce supply chain and/or household food waste. Collaborative partnerships between retailers, brands, designers, suppliers and others will be particularly encouraged. These should have the potential to deliver significant reductions with rapid implementation of solutions.

The food categories making the most significant contribution to food waste are fresh fruit and vegetables; bakery products; fresh meats and fish, pre-prepared chilled meat and fish products; ready meals (including pizzas); dairy products (including milk); dried foods (including rice, pasta and cereals); and homemade meals. WRAP is therefore looking to prioritise activity in these areas.

Andrew Parry, Food Waste Minimisation Manager at WRAP, said: “There are real opportunities for retailers and food manufacturers to help reduce the amount of food which is thrown away in the UK. Not only would this have significant environmental benefits, it could also drive cost savings for the industry and customers - enhancing loyalty in difficult financial times.”

“The launch of this call for partnerships will now enable companies throughout the supply chain to work in partnership with WRAP to deliver real change.” The closing date for the tender is 20th November 2008. For more information and to download the tender document visit www.wrap.org.uk/wrap_corporate/tenders or contact Josephine Millar on 01295 819916 or Josephine.Millar@wrap.org.uk. Research reports to support proposals are available at www.wrap.org.uk/retail/food_waste/ .