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More U.K. Supermarkets Sign Ambiguous Government Pledge to Waste Less Food

Will it lead to real action?

U.K. supermarkets sign up to government food waste pledge Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Freuds

Loads of U.K. supermarkets are pledging to waste less food

U.K. supermarkets including Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose are pledging to halve the U.K.’s annual £20 billion worth of food waste by 2030, by ... Signing a pledge to halve the U.K.’s annual £20 billion worth of food waste by 2030. The pledge, which environment secretary and Boris Johnson-challenger Michael Gove describes as “game-changing,” includes mandatory reporting on food surplus and waste, and is focussed on redistribution of otherwise wasted food. This has proven successful in London, with high-profile partnerships between The Felix Project and the likes of world-famous chef Massimo Bottura doing at least some work to highlight the failing links in supply chains.

Beyond that commitment to halving waste, the pledge includes:

“Embracing a week of action in November 2019 to highlight the changes we can all make.”

“Using their voice and profile to empower and encourage citizens, including the younger generation.”

“Changing their habits as an individual to be Food Value Champion at work and at home, buying only what they need and eating what they buy.”

So far, so ambiguous. Furthermore, the pledge does not detail consequences for those who either fail to comply or fail to meet the — extremely vague — terms of the scheme; Michael Gove presumably won’t be spying on supermarket execs’ grocery deliveries. Accountability, then, appears to be lacking: beyond ‘food waste and surplus champion’ Ben Elliott saying, “We will be highlighting those who participate and those who do not.” [Sky News]

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