Labour MP To Introduce Food Waste Bill

Food Waste

Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, will be introducing her Food Waste (Reduction) Bill in the House of Commons on 9th September 2016 that aims to address the ‘unsustainable levels of industry food waste’.

The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill, which McCarthy says is receiving strong support from other parties, is supported by food waste campaigning organisations, Feedback and This is Rubbish, as well as by FareShare, WWF-UK, Friends of the Earth and Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

The Bill seeks to prevent food waste throughout all levels of the industry’s supply chain using a combination of stricter guidelines and redistribution to charities designated to helping people living in food poverty.

According to a statement from Kerry McCarthy, this legislation is needed as government ‘policies have primarily focused on household food waste…but has largely ignored the waste generated by the food industry throughout its supply chain’.

It also responds to the need to meet the global challenge of feeding a growing population from an increasingly scarce agricultural base. Globally, approximately a third of all food produced is wasted. If this amount was reduced by just 25%, there would be enough to feed everyone on the planet.

McCarthy says that the food industry’s voluntary targets simply aren’t ambitious enough to drive the level of reduction needed, or equal to the challenge of meeting EU and UN targets on food waste reduction.

The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill will:

  • Oblige supermarkets to donate unsold food – along the lines of recent Belgium and French legislative proposals, which was inspired by a wave of popular support for new laws to end the scandal of supermarket food waste. Although the French laws were recently revoked (hopefully temporarily) for legislative procedural reasons – they ignited petitions for similar laws in the UK, and the EC also passed a resolution recommending for this law to be extended across Europe.
  • Require large supermarkets and manufacturers to publish and transparently report their food waste across the supply chain.
  • Set large supermarkets and manufacturers with the task of reducing food waste by 30 per cent by 2025 in line with draft proposals in the European Commission’s Circular Economy package.
  • Require the government to implement incentives (or disincentives) to enforce the food waste hierarchy.

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