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Wrap takes food waste fight to next level

Sustainability charity calls for more multi-partner collaboration and greater focus on most wasted products and biggest generators of waste

Wrap takes food waste fight to next level

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Wrap has announced a new phase in the organisation’s consumer food waste prevention strategy, which will focus on multiple partner action and bringing a more targeted approach to food waste prevention.

In a keynote speech at the RWM Conference in Birmingham, which brings together the waste, energy, recycling and water sectors, Wrap’s chief executive Marcus Gover called for collaboration in cutting food waste.

He urged all local and national networks of like-minded people and organisations to join Wrap, and be part of joined up nationwide action to help citizens cut food waste in the home.

Since first making the case for greater unity in January, Gover outlined how Wrap has devoted time to re-evaluating, re-focusing and researching further the triggers of household food waste.

These new insights have helped refresh a more targeted approach, and Wrap now wants to work with partners to concentrate on the most wasted food products, and engage with people who generate the most waste.

Initial focus will be on two common behaviours in the home that can spark food waste: buying the right amount of food, and storing food to make it last longer.

Gover explained: “We’ve had good success with Love Food Hate Waste and a broad-brush approach in the past, cutting household food waste by 12 per cent, but it’s clear we need to concentrate on the finer details now.

“A new approach is required, and we’ve developed a more targeted phase in our strategy for specific behaviours and foods through more precise understanding of the subtleties at play.”

Wrap will first engage with the 18-34 age group for whom life changes such as moving away from the family home, taking their first job, becoming responsible for their own upkeep and starting families can be triggers for food waste.

The charity found that this age group wastes more food than others, largely due to busy lifestyles with ever-changing arrangements – issues closely related to food waste.

This winter Wrap will convene a food summit, bringing together a wide range of partners to share insights, develop a unified vision of success and co-create solutions.

“Household food waste reduction has plateaued and it’s clear to me that with many organisations and individuals working on isolated projects, we need to bring these separate strands together to form stronger ties, and joined-up action to stop food wast,” Gover said.

His organisation is preparing a series of toolkits comprising consumer insights and communications materials, which partners can adapt for their own use, tailored to their own campaigns.

Wrap is also in conversations with retailers about in-store pilots to help shoppers waste less. The sustainability body is working with businesses on technical changes on product labelling and design, and will publish new industry guidance for food labelling, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency and Defra, later in the year. 

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