Five major retailers sign up to Food Waste Forum charter
BWG Group CEO Leo Crawford, along with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has signed the Food Waste Forum Charter as part of the Retail Action Group for Food Waste.
26 January 2018 | 0
A new charter aimed at reducing food waste has been signed by five of the country’s biggest retailers. Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Musgrave and BWG have all agreed to follow the new Food Waste Forum Charter.
The retailers have pledged to work together to gather and share reliable and accurate food waste information, to identify areas for improvement, to measure progress and also to work towards a common methodology to report on food waste data in the sector.
The pledge is part of the Retail Action Group on Food Waste established by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to accelerate progress towards meeting targets set by the UN as part of their Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.
The initiative also forms part of Ireland’s efforts towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production. This Charter is an example of how the government can work together with businesses to achieve the SDG target of halving per capita food waste by 2030.
This is another step on the road to a more collaborative approach to the prevention of food waste,” Naughten said. “In signing up to the Food Waste Charter, these retailers have shown a willingness to work collectively for the greater good of society by promoting, prioritising and planning for the prevention of food waste in a more collaborative way.”
BWG Group CEO Leo Crawford joined Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten at the event to mark the occasion. Here, Minister Naughten noted that by being part of the Retail Action Group, BWG has signalled its commitment to address food waste across its business. “I hope their example will inspire others to take action,” the Minister said.
This charter sees BWG commit to the reduction of food waste through the redistribution of surplus food. This is an area that businesses have slowly been connecting with over the past year or two, as they realise that donating rather than disposing of unsold food can help those in need as well as help the environment in a number of ways.
“In signing this Food Waste Charter we are committing to reducing food waste in the Irish retail sector,” said Crawford. “In turn, this is building an awareness and understanding of food waste and its issues as well as promoting innovative food waste prevention solutions.”
Giles Hurley, group managing director, Aldi Ireland, said Aldi is delighted to support the charter.
“Aldi is committed to tackling food waste in the retail industry,” Giles said. “For example, through FoodCloud we work with hundreds of charitable groups across the country providing them with daily donations of surplus food and minimising waste. We have donated over 1 million meals to date, helping charities save €1.5m.”
In fact, Aldi has expanded the FoodCloud programme to all 130 stores nationwide, and increased donations by 60%.
“Aldi is delighted to support the Food Waste Charter and is looking forward to working with the wider retail industry and the Department to help reduce Ireland’s food waste,” Hurley added.
Leading social enterprise FoodCloud also welcomed the announcement that major Irish retailers have agreed a common methodology for the reporting of food waste within their businesses.
“FoodCloud has been an active contributor to the Retail Action Group, advising in the area of measurement methodologies since its establishment,” said Iseult Ward, leading food waste expert and FoodCloud CEO.
“As recommended by the Citizen’s Assembly in November, measurement will allow businesses to make smart decisions about how to reduce food waste and take meaningful action,” Ward added. “The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 challenges nations including Ireland to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 and the Food Waste Charter will help us to formally identify the key areas where change is needed, and crucially, to make those changes. We look forward to continuing our work with the retailers involved today,” she said.