A report by WRAP has highlighted the extent of wasted food inherent in the UK food production system.
Until now, the focus of the foodwaste debate has focussed on the quantities of food thrown away by households (much of which ends up in landfill) or by supermarkets.
This new report highlights the quantities of food that never even leave the farm gates. The reasons for this are numerous and not surprising, but perhaps the quantities involved are.
Taking a wider view, it’s not only the quantities of food waste which are astounding, it’s the wasted resources used to produce those crops: the care and attention of farmers and those who work for them, the diesel used to power the tractors to till the land and spread the seed, and the fertiliser and chemicals used to protect the crop and encourage it to grow. All these have a tremendous GHG footprint associated with them (save for the care and attention, perhaps...).
In a country where AD offers an outlet to recover energy from inedible crops, and the population suffering from food poverty, this is one of those situations where the solution to a number of policy areas are aligned. But who will take the opportunity?
More than £1bn of food destined for UK supermarkets is thrown away or fed to animals before it leaves farms every year, according to a study highlighting the scale of the country’s waste problem.