On Wednesday 9th September, 2015, Kerry McCarthy MP introduced her Food Waste (Reduction) Bill in the Commons for the first time.
She called it a Bill, I called it ‘common sense’!
In short, this was a way to get the powers that be to really start to tackle the ever growing problem of obscene amounts of food needlessly wasted through the food industry supply chains, from production through to retail.
Now, here at Approved Food we have been doing that for years – buying what would otherwise end up in landfill from various sources and selling it at massively reduced prices to consumers across the country – so it was only right that we step up and be counted when it came to the debate.
And so, on January 20th, 2016, I made the 163-mile journey from my home country of Yorkshire to the bright lights of London where I met with Kerry McCarthy MP herself in order to offer my support for her cause.
With the second reading scheduled to take place on the 29th of the month the face-to-face was quite timely, and I think it is fair to say that we both found the conversation to be interesting and useful. So aligned was our thinking that I now feature in the official press release being issued by her office.
As many of you will know I am a somewhat vocal campaigner when it comes to the issue of unnecessary waste, but when you know the facts it is incredibly hard to be anything but!
Did you know that according to WRAP, the creator of food waste reduction initiative Love Food Hate Waste, the UK wastes 15 million tonnes of food a year?
And whilst almost 50% of this is created at home – around 7 million tonnes a year – 3.9 million tonnes is wasted higher up the supply chain by food manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers; and a further 0.25 million tonnes from retail and wholesale.
Staggering, I know!
The Bill is calling on the industry to start measuring supply chain waste which I agree is vital if we are to achieve meaningful reduction. It will allow for effective baseline data to be established, to set markers for reduction, but would also open up significant opportunities and markets in which businesses, like ours, and charities could invest.
It’s a win win, when you think about it. Less waste results in less impact on the environment: perfectly good food gets given to those who need it most – or sold at massively reduced rates to hard working families across the UK; and suppliers, manufacturers and distributors actually get some return on what would otherwise COST them money.
(You know at the start of this I mentioned I thought it was common sense? Hopefully now you get my drift.)
And so, we are backing this Bill with everything we’ve got, and we really hope everyone else will too! We simply can’t continue to waste what need not be wasted when so much is at stake. It is time for those who can put a stop to it to make a change.
Good luck Kerry McCarthy. We’ve got our fingers crossed!
(Approved Food Founder and vocal food waste reduction campaigner)
Ps don’t forget to mention us in your speech on Friday!