Food, retail and hospitality operators have been called on to support a drive to cut the 100,000 tonnes of food wasted each year by 50% before 2030.
The call is being made by environment secretary Michael Gove and the government’s food surplus and waste champion Ben Elliot ahead of the Step up to the Plate symposium, to be held at London’s V&A museum next week.
The event will see businesses and individuals asked to sign a pledge that aims to half food waste by 2030 and have 50% of the UK’s largest food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by 2019.
Gove said: “Together, we must end the moral, economic and environmental scandal of food waste. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but I urge businesses to join me in signing the pledge so we can bring about real change.
“Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food goes uneaten. It’s time to join together and ‘Step up to the Plate’ to stop good food going to waste.”
A week of action is also planned for November, with the aim of empowering consumers to change their habits.
Elliot said: “Wasting food is an environmental, moral and financial scandal. We intend for the symposium and pledge to spark action, not just conversation, and inspire us all to champion change.”