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What a Waste - Government Listens to Experts on Food Waste Reduction

07 November 2013 | Updated 01 January 1970

Experts from Sodexo have advised the Government on the European Union’s contribution to food waste prevention in the Houses of Parliament.

They appeared before a House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy to face questions on issues including:

If targets are helpful in stimulating action by businesses and if so, what level by 2020 might be realistic

The systems Sodexo have in place to monitor its food waste and what initiatives has it undertaken to reduce food waste

The co-operation that exists between Sodexo and its partners through the supply chain to minimise waste at all stages of the process and

What changes should be considered in relation to EU policy to enable higher levels of food redistribution across Europe under initiatives like Sodexo’s existing Global ‘Stop Hunger’ campaign.

Head of waste management Claire Atkins Morris and environmental manager Paul Bracegirdle were on hand to give their views on EU plans to introduce a target to reduce food waste by 50 per cent across member states by 2020.

Thus far, Sodexo is the only foodservice company to provide expert witnesses to the House of Lords Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy sub-committee, which is taking evidence from industry bodies and retail organisations before feeding back their findings to Brussels in March 2014.

A streamed video recording of the evidence session is available on the Parliament website - Here.

Bracegirdle told the sub-committee: “We agree with cutting food waste as a worthwhile goal. We also agree with a target because a target raises a profile and it accelerates progress. With targets though there needs to be clarity about how it’s developed. The parameters need to be clearly defined. The limitations need to be clearly identified. What we feel with the EU’s target of reducing food waste by 50 per cent is a little bit of that clarity isn’t there.”

Atkins Morris told the sub-committee: “We certainly need to standardise a methodology for foodservice accounting because otherwise it’s going to be very difficult to monitor and if there is this push further down the road for binding targets then you are going to need this accountability for food waste volumes within Europe.”



Sodexo is a founding signatory of the UK Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement, which was launched by the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) in June 2012 on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The agreement aims to cut food and packaging waste by five per cent – or approximately 100 million meals – by 2015 and increase the rate of food and packaging waste recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to 70 per cent.

Sodexo also makes a commitment to reducing food waste through its global sustainability strategy the Better Tomorrow Plan. The company serves over one million meals a day across 2,300 sites in the UK and Ireland. It offers an array of FM services in 80 countries around the world. 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 07 November 2013


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