CFA is a partner in a new research project led by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) which, for the first time, will calculate the amount of waste in the UK retail supply chain for pre-prepared food and identify how this waste can be reduced.
Covering four products – sandwiches, pizza, quiche, ready meals – the research will develop detailed “resource maps” to highlight the amount of food and packaging waste generated for each product type at key stages in the chilled and frozen supply chains. It will also calculate the associated carbon emissions and economic impact as well as detailing the amount of water used and disposed of during the manufacture of these products.
Best practice guidance will then be produced and companies will be able to benchmark themselves against data and maximise opportunities for achieving environmental benefits and cost savings. This will include solutions for minimising waste and improving resource use from initial production through to distribution and back of store. The maps will also include WRAP data on levels of packaging and food waste from households, so that a whole chain can be seen and the “hot spots” identified.
WRAP is urging companies throughout the sector to participate in the research. Data collection will include an industry survey and company-specific resource minimisation reviews, covering 80% of the UK market for the products selected.
The research is being undertaken by Food Processing Faraday in partnership with the Centre for Value Chain Research at the University of Kent and CFA. The British Frozen Food Federation, British Sandwich Association and the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Foods Association are also supporting the project.
CFA’s Kaarin Goodburn said “Waste is a strategic issue for chilled food manufacturers to reduce both costs and support future food security and sustainability agendas. We hope this project will build on our sustainability activities over the best part of a decade providing a comparison with 2005 Defra-funded work and tracking progress in reducing waste. Informal CFA data indicates members have, since 2003, reduced waste by more than 25% and reliance on landfill by nearly 70% although the chilled prepared food market grew by nearly 30% over that period.”
Businesses interested in getting involved should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.