Supermarkets slammed over food waste

Apr 6, 2014

End ‘buy one, get one free’ offers say peers

Supermarkets should scrap their ‘buy one get one free’ offer to reduce the “morally repugnant” amount of food being thrown away by shoppers, says a report from the House of Lords European Union Committee.

The report says 15m tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year, while the amount of food discarded by consumers in industrialised nations is equivalent to nearly the entire level of net food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

The peers point the finger at supermarkets. "It is clear that retailers must assume a far greater responsibility for the prevention of food waste in the home", they said.

The report also calls on chains to act more responsibly with farmers and avoid cancelling orders at the last minute, and it criticises the EU's "fragmented and untargeted" attempts to tackle the problem.

The committee chairwoman, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, says food waste is "clearly a huge issue" in the UK and Europe.

She added: "Not only is it morally repugnant, but it has serious economic and environmental implications. The fact that 90m tonnes of food is wasted across the EU each year shows the extent of the problem and explains why we are calling for urgent action."

The report says more surplus food should be passed to charities and food banks and calls for more education for peers on the difference between “best before” and “use by” dates on food packaging.

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