Celebrity chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has slammed supermarkets for the amount of food they waste and is calling for transparency, espcially in the supply chains.
He was speaking to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee at a hearing yesterday and answering questions about the impact of food waste in the country and the measures needed to address this issue.
Around eight million tonnes of food are said to be wasted post-manufacture by households, retail and wholesale and hospitality sectors, which is not only environmentally damaging but a waste of money for consumers, local authorities and businesses.
Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall believes retailers and farms should be obliged to report on how much food is wasted in their supply chains to prevent excess waste.
He said: “Retailers are also complicity in the problem of domestic food waste because of the way they sell us food and because of the way they are very, very good at making us buy quite a lot more than we need and they do it through advertising and they do it through ‘buy one get one free offers’.”
He also called for more leadership from government, along with Tristram Stuart, Founder of Feedback, a campaign aimed at stopping global food waste.
They believe consumers should also support the battle against food waste not only by avoiding it at home but also communicating with their supermarkets about how they tackle this issue.
Mr Stuart said: “Go to your supermarket and ask them if they’re donating surplus at the end of the day, ask them why the apples look the same, what happened to the wonky ones, ask them why there’s a ‘best before date’ on a package of bananas which is totally unnecessary. Become part of the change not just in their homes but out there in supermarkets in the supply chains.”
An initiative which could help Londoners save £330 million a year by reducing food waste was launched earlier this year.
According to the Renewable Energy Association, recycling food waste could be cheaper for businesses and local authorities.