Resource Use

Open letter from UK companies demands mandatory food waste reporting

Too Good To Go, a leading anti-food waste organisation, has spearheaded a coalition comprising over 30 companies from the UK's food, retail, and manufacturing sectors to issue an open letter calling for mandatory public food waste reporting. 

food waste reportingThe collective, which includes retailers such as Aldi, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Waitrose, addressed the letter to Steve Barclay, the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), urging for legislative changes that could pave the way for significant reductions in food waste.

The letter, which is published in partnership with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), acknowledges the progress made, whilst underscoring the need for mandatory reporting to achieve significant and measurable reduction in food waste: “While we applaud the steps taken to reduce food waste through initiatives like the Courtauld Commitment, mandatory reporting is a necessary step in providing the transparency, awareness and insights needed to tackle this pressing issue at scale.”

The case for mandatory food waste reporting

Currently, over a third of all food produced ends up as waste, contributing to 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and costing the UK economy £21.8 billion annually.

The call for mandatory food waste reporting represents a recognition of the connected challenges of food security, environmental sustainability, and economic efficiency and signifies an acknowledgment within the industry of the need for a data-driven, collaborative effort to tackle food waste.

In 2022, consultation responses showed that 80 per cent supported a mandate for waste measurement and reporting for large food businesses and, in November last year, the Government said that Steve Barclay will reconsider prioritising mandatory food waste reporting.


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

Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “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. While most retailers already report voluntarily through WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, mandatory reporting will enable greater transparency across the supply chain. Retailers will continue to engage with the Government to ensure that the system works for all stakeholders, and that it aligns across the four UK nations.”

Related Articles