75% of UK meat processing sector commits to cut waste

75% of UK meat processing sector commits to cut waste

WRAP has published its Meat in a Net Zero World Annual Progress Summary for 2020-2021, which highlights the initiative’s significant progress and the areas that requirement further improvement.

In June 2020, 40 stakeholders from across the UK meat production and supply chain came together, facilitated by WRAP, to pledge to make the UK meat industry “one of the most efficient and sustainable in the world.”

The group aims to achieve this goal through taking action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, protect natural assets like forests and water resources, reduce their own operational food waste, and help to halve the current rates of food waste in the UK.

WRAP said that the actions made by the group “will contribute towards existing national and global targets including the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and the NFU’s target of zero emissions for UK farming by 2040.”

Included within their latest report is a commentary on the group’s progress and further action as recommended by the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).

Some major findings of the report include:

  • 60% of business supporters to the group’s commitment have set Net Zero or Science-Based GHG reduction targets that encompass the whole supply chain, including agricultural (scope 3) emissions
  • Businesses comprising more than 75% of the UK meat processing sector has committed to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap
  • In the last reporting year, meat processors collectively reported more than 20,000 tonnes of food waste reduction – an average 30% reduction.

While “good progress has been made”, Wrap has said that the group must now “embed the commitments made; continue to address priorities such as productive efficiency; and work together to tackle wastage and resolve challenges like lack of data for decision-making.”

Amongst other recommendations, CIEL has said that efforts must now increasingly focus on challenging areas such as heat, transport and wider scope 3, which are the much larger share of total emissions.

“We will continue to support members”

Tony Goodger, a spokesperson for the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) said: “The publication of the update of Meat in a Net Zero World is timely with COP26 just a few weeks away. Reading through the report is it great to see the progress that is being made especially in the area of reducing waste.

“Of course the report highlights that more needs to be done and we will continue to help our members to further reduce their environmental impacts through pointing them to published advice and where available, grant money. We also would encourage the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and their contractors to read Meat in a Net Zero World and to work in partnership with meat and poultry processors to reduce waste whilst maintaining food safety.”

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