In order to reduce on-farm losses, WWF and Tesco are calling on the government and the food industry to act on food waste.
Hidden Waste, the new report published by WWF and Tesco quantifies the total amount of food lost on farms, revealing an estimated three million tonnes of food (£1.8 billion worth of food) is not consumed each year in the UK.
This equates to approximately six million meals worth of edible food that are wasted before leaving the farm.
In terms of natural resource wastage, food production uses a great deal of land (almost half the size of Wales), water and energy, so food wastage has a considerable impact on climate change – estimates suggest that food waste accounts for 10% of the greenhouse gases produced by UK farming.
There are significant factors that make it even more imperative to address on-farm food waste. These include excluded data from the government and industry on the extent of food waste on UK farms, the cost-of living crisis and the increasing number of people facing food insecurity in the UK.
As a result, food activists are expecting a greater commitment from the UK government and the food industry to support farmers and efforts to reduce farm-stage food waste.
Mandatory recording of on-farm food waste by farm businesses will be introduced over the next two years so that policymakers can see the full scale of the problem and to make it possible to track.
The report sets a target of halving on-farm food waste by 2030 and highlights the potential benefits such as improving UK food security and increasing farmers’ profits.
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