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Supermarkets: Waste Disposal

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 5258, tabled on 17 July 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to (a) prohibit supermarkets from throwing away food that is out of date by one day and (b) require supermarkets to provide such food items to food banks.

Answered on

24 July 2017

The Government favours a voluntary approach to reducing food waste and is working with food businesses through a voluntary approach to reduce it, including through redistribution when surplus food cannot be avoided. We have been working with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on its review of date labelling and related advice for food businesses. Among other things, this guidance aims to remove key barriers to redistribution, for example, by providing advice on what can and cannot be done as the “best before” date approaches or is passed. WRAP launched a consultation on this guidance on 6 July this year and intends to publish the final guidance in the autumn.

Business signatories to the Courtauld 2025 Commitment are aiming to double the amount of food surplus they send for redistribution to a range of organisations between 2015 and 2020. We do not have plans to legislate.

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