The major grocers have today signed up to new food waste reduction targets including a commitment to reduce household food waste by 5% by 2015.

Under the third phase of the Courtauld Commitment overseen by the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP), all the major grocers have agreed to work towards three new environmental goals.

The new targets include further reducing waste in the grocery supply chain and improving packaging design to minimise its carbon impact.

The grocers have met commitments agreed in the first and second phase of the agreement since it launched in 2005. 

In phase one, 670,000 tonnes of food waste were avoided between 2005 and 2009 and annual UK household food waste fell by 1.1m tonnes between 2006/7 and 2010. To date Courtauld 2 has delivered a 3% reduction in household food waste.

Measures introduced by retailers to help curb food waste in the home include offering a range of product portion sizes to fit different customer needs, providing advice on how to store food, and recipes for using up leftovers. Retailers are also active participants in the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign run by WRAP.  

The BRC welcomed the new agreement. Food and sustainability director Andrew Opie said: “These new targets build on the major strides already made by grocery retailers to reduce food and packaging waste. 

“Despite the downturn and other challenges affecting business, the retail industry is continuing to innovate and collaborate on waste reduction as well as working hard to meet wider green goals across all aspects of its operations. That’s delivering real environmental benefits as well as value for customers.”