The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary “responsibility deal” aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon and wider environmental impact of the grocery sector. This includes action to reduce food and packaging waste. Signatories to the deal include UK grocery retailers and manufacturers, and the initiative is led and coordinated by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The latest results from the Commitment’s Phase 2 find that significant progress has been made by grocery sector signatories in achieving its waste reduction and recycling targets for food and packaging. The results show an 8.8% reduction in supply chain waste, well ahead of the three-year target of 5%. The packaging target is also on course, at more than three quarters of the way towards the target 10% carbon reduction. The second year results have been achieved alongside an increase in volume sales among signatories.
However since these reductions in waste have been achieved against a background of global recession, it’s not entirely clear from the results how far these measures are a consequences of actions by the signatories themselves and how far they reflect more careful use of food among budget-constrained households.
Further analysis or insights by FCRN members would be welcome as would examples of food-waste reduction initiatives in other countries.