UK supermarket chains agree to publish food waste data

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UK supermarket chains agree to publish food waste data

01/29/2018

Major supermarket retailers in the United Kingdom have agreed to publish data on how much food waste they generate each year, according to Foodtank, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank for food.

“The supermarkets agreed on a common methodology to measure food waste, making company-specific data both available and comparable among companies, according to a blog on Foodtank’s website. “The agreement represents a major victory for organizations campaigning for greater transparency in retailer food waste levels.”

According to Foodtank, food waste reporting standards and commitments varied “wildly” across retailers before the agreement. Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery retailer, was the first major supermarket to publish food waste data in its UK operations in 2014, as well as develop actions to half food waste in its own operations and supply chains by 2030. Tesco recently announced it would make a joint commitment with its top 24 suppliers to half food waste in its supply chain by 2030.

Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest retailer, agreed to publish data on its in-store waste in 2016, according to Foodtank. All other major retailers had not previously made food waste data publicly available, the blog states.

“The new agreement will provide greater transparency on supermarket’s food waste levels, allowing campaign organizations and consumers to identify the best and worst performing retailers,” according to Foodtank.

 

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