Defra consults large food firms on reviving mandatory food waste reporting

A government consultation is underway to gather feedback from food companies and hospitality businesses over government plans to reintroduce mandatory reporting on food waste.

Defra says it’s looking for “additional evidence on the barriers and enablers of food waste reporting by businesses”, the Grocer reported.

The government department is working on the consultation with health experts WRAP, which say the reporting will help tackle food waste and is gathering business feedback on the consultation via a questionnaire.

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The issue of mandatory reporting on food waste has proved controversial.

Last November, the new environment secretary Steve Barclay said he was reconsidering mandatory food waste reporting, after his predecessor Thérèse Coffey’s decision to axe plans for its introduction.

Coffey axed the plans after Defra said mandatory reporting could drive up food prices and it would be too expensive for businesses.

But a survey found that 99% of respondents were in favour of implementing mandatory reporting and its supporters include the British Retail Consortium and Tesco.

However, the government said that most in favour were small businesses that would not be affected.

Wrap says that 9.5 million tonnes of post-farm gate food waste is thrown away in the UK each year, with 15% of this arising from retail, hospitality and food services.

The government’s decision to U-turn on mandatory reporting was subject to a furious backlash from health and food campaigners.

Campaign group Feedback took the government to court saying the move was unlawful and the Court of Appeal upheld its claim.

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