More than 30 UK food, retail, and manufacturing firms – including retail giants such as Aldi, Tescio and Waitrose – have called on the government to make a fresh attempt to introduce mandatory public food waste reporting.

An open letter has been issued to the environment secretary Steve Barclay, calling for action to help tackle food waste that is estimated to cost the UK nearly £22bn a year.

Signatories to the letter, which has been coordinated by Too Good To Go, the food redistribution firm and trade body the British Retail Consortium, include Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Danone, Gousto and Innocent Drinks.

While acknowledging the progress made under initiatives, the letter emphasises the need for mandatory reporting to drive meaningful change and encourage more action to be taken across the industry.

“We’re delighted to see the strong level of industry support for the introduction of mandatory food waste reporting”, says Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go.

“The stark reality is that a staggering 40% of all food produced globally goes to waste. In 2024 there is no room for half-hearted measures or commitments a decade away.

“The Government has an opportunity to lead the way in the fight against food waste by introducing mandatory food waste reporting and we hope it will seize this chance.”

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Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the BRC, adds: “Mandatory Food Waste reporting is a key step in reducing food waste, helping retailers to understand their waste hotspots and where surplus food can be redistributed.”

Liz Fox, national sustainability director at Aldi UK, says: “It is important that we tackle the critical issue of food waste as an industry, and mandatory food waste reporting would be a significant step forward in doing just that.

“Food waste reporting, and analysing opportunities for improvements, has already helped us achieve one of our food waste targets early – and allowed us to be even bolder in setting a new waste-reduction goal.”

Last month it was reveaeled a government consultation was underway to gather feedback from food companies and hospitality businesses over government plans to reintroduce mandatory reporting on food waste.

Last year, discount supermarket Aldi UK  set an ambitious new sustainability goal after hitting its 2030 target eight years early and reducing food waste by 57%.

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