Government response to consultation on food waste reporting by large businesses

The government has published its response to a consultation on improved food waste reporting by large food businesses in England.

The consultation launched in June 2022 as part of the UK government’s approach to reduce food waste in England, which fulfilled a commitment in the Resources and Waste Strategy for England. Reporting levels of food waste can help businesses to take targeted action to drive down the amount of food that they waste. Defra consulted on whether to make reporting mandatory or to enhance the voluntary approach.

A total of 3,851 respondents participated in the consultation. Defra sought views and evidence on preferred options for improving food waste reporting, the size and type of business in scope, materials in scope, reporting process, compliance and enforcement.

Overall, respondents were positive about the government’s intent to ensure more food businesses are engaged and taking action to reduce food waste. 80% of respondents agreed that we should require food waste measurement and reporting by large food businesses. This view was shared amongst individuals, charities, social enterprises and the hospitality and retail sectors.

Following the consultation, the government will consider options to improve the number of food businesses reporting through a voluntary approach. This will remain in place until at least mid-2025, at which point the effectiveness of the approach will be reviewed.