Emma is one of the sponsors of the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill, which was proposed by Kerry McCarthy MP in the House of Commons today (9 September). You can read Kerry’s speech on Parliament’s website.
The Bill would require supermarkets to donate unsold food so that it can be given to those who need it, following a similar successful law introduced in France. It also sets a target for large supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce their food waste by 30 per cent by 2025, and required supermarkets to publish information about how much food is wasted in their supply chains.
Almost one third of all the food produced worldwide is wasted, and the UK alone produces around 15 million tonnes of food waste each year. Research has shown that if the amount of wasted food fell by just 25 per cent, there would be enough to feed everyone on the planet.
The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill was brought in under the Ten Minute Rule, and was approved unopposed. MPs will now try to put pressure on the Government to allow time for it to be debated in Committee so that it can make further progress towards becoming law.
“I’m very pleased to be supporting the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill. At a time when food poverty is on the rise in Britain, it isn’t right that huge amounts of produce are thrown away unsold.
“Countries like France have shown that setting targets and requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food can make a big difference, and I think we should follow their example. It makes economic sense, environmental sense, and mostly importantly it’s the right thing to do.”
The All-Party Inquiry on Hunger and Food Poverty, of which Emma was a member, identified food waste as an area requiring Government action in its Feeding Britain report, published in December of last year. The Inquiry called for major supermarkets to double the proportion of surplus food they redistribute, and to reduce the amount of food which goes to landfill. The Chair of the Inquiry, Frank Field MP, joined Emma in sponsoring the Food Waste (Reduction) Bill.