Courtauld Commitment provides annual progress update

Food waste reduction remained priority in food and drinks sector despite challenging year.
A new report released this week is demonstrating good progress being made in the food sector in the UK across all three Courtauld Commitment targets – food waste, carbon and water – in a challenging year for food and drink.

The Courtauld Commitments are a series of voluntary agreements launched in 2005 designed to improve resource efficiency and reduced the carbon and wider environmental impact of the UK food sector. It is funded by the UK Government and delivered by WRAP.
The Courtauld Commitment 2025 Annual Report 2020 sets out the progress that has been made by the food and drink sector this year towards achieving the voluntary agreement’s targets and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This has been a turbulent year for food and drink, and yet the sector has continued to prioritise food waste reduction in key areas.

Highlights include: 
  • Over £4m awarded under the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant ensuring that surplus food can reach people in need or those considered most vulnerable during the pandemic.
  • In the second year of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, more than 70 new food organisations have joined, committing to ‘Target, Measure, Act’ on food waste in their operations, supply chain and customer base. 
  • The new Courtauld 2025 Supply Chain GHG Working Group convened to harmonise supplier asks on GHG measurement / reporting, support the drive for reduction in UK agricultural emissions, tackle overseas production emissions, and explore solutions for more robust data to support reduction efforts and monitoring progress.
  • Meat in a Net Zero world - a major new cross-industry vision to optimise productivity and minimise waste from farm to fork.
  • Under the Courtauld 2025 Water Ambition more than 80 food & drink businesses and 2000 farmers are engaged across projects, with farm visits undertaken leading to a range of interventions based on tailored advice received. Through these actions 750 million litres of water have been replenished back to nature.
Other highlights in the report include:
  • Work continues within high-impact sectors – meat, dairy, fresh produce, and bakery – to develop and act on new insights on food waste priorities, including measurement of pre-farm gate waste.
  • New online learning platform - Guardians of Grub: Becoming a Champion - equips hospitality and food service professionals with the skills they need to take action on food waste in their establishments.
  • New brand Wasting Food: It’s Out of Date helps citizens make the link between wasted food and climate change.
  • Ongoing behaviour change interventions projects investigating on-pack guidance and lockdown food habits.
  • Global influence of Courtauld 2025 continues to expand with new voluntary agreements in Mexico, and the Pacific Coast.
Delivered by EAUC