"Where there is unity there is always victory," wrote Publilius Syrus around 46BC. So this week when we see that progress in reducing UK household food waste has stalled, it doesn't mean we are losing. It means we need to unite in the fight against food waste.
More people are talking about food waste than ever before, which is great news. But it isn't enough. 7.3million tonnes of food are wasted by UK households each year. If we prevented this, it would have the same environmental benefit of taking one in four cars off the road. That's why we all need to do more. So we are calling on all businesses, organisations, campaigners and NGOs who work in this area to unite and step up the fight against food waste. Along with every person in the UK.
The battle against household food waste has seen progress, with one million tonnes less food waste in the home since 2007. But the figures for 2015 show this reduction has stalled. This is due partly to population growth, falling food prices and increased personal earnings, but also reflects just how challenging it is to reduce food waste in the home.
The complex reasons for food waste, the scale of it, and the lack of awareness that people do waste food in the home all contribute to making this an incredibly tough problem to tackle. 60 per cent of people don't believe they waste food, but in fact, on average each of us wastes the equivalent of two and a half main meals a week. It is clear we need to come together to tackle this issue and achieve more.
Work has already started to investigate new ways to help millions of people reduce household food waste. Through our food sustainability initiative, Courtauld Commitment 2025, practical solutions will be piloted and evaluated, and our Love Food Hate Waste campaign will offer tailored solutions to people to help them make the most of the food they buy.
At WRAP, we plan to work with governments, Courtauld Commitment signatories and consumers to find effective solutions. There is no silver bullet. The fight against food waste needs a multi-pronged attack. But it is a battle we can win together.
Where there is unity there is victory.