Consumers wasting less food, say FDF

Shoppers are throwing away less food than they did a year ago, according to the latest research from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

In a survey of over 1,000 consumers, half of the respondents said they were throwing away less food and only 1% said they were throwing away more. The majority (88%) said they were concerned about food waste.

The majority (88%) of people surveyed said they were concerned about food waste. When asked what was responsible for reducing wasted food, 67% said it was down to indiviuals and families, 28% said it was the shared responsibility of individuals/families and the food industry and 6% said it was the responsibility of the industry alone.

The survey also revealed that most (88%) consumers want to see packaging waste reduced. Using packaging which can be recycled, reuse or biodegraded was important to 81% of the respondents.

Shoppers also supported the food industry using new technologies and initiatives to reduce environmental impact. Reducing energy use in production and distribution was voted most important (75%). Using ingredients from sustainable sources was important to 73%, followed by reducing carbon emissions (68%), reducing water use (68%), using scientific developments (66%) and transporting products from abroad by rail rather than road (61%).

Commenting on the results, FDF director of communications Terry Jones said: “We are really encouraged by these figures that show we are not wasting as much food as we were a year ago. Around 5.3mt of perfectly good food is thrown out each year, costing around £12bn, which is a waste of resources and money.

“We are also pleased to see that shoppers are still interested in the environment and want to see more done to reduce energy and water use and source sustainable raw materials. The food industry has been doing a lot to resolve this and is now sending less than 10% of its food waste to landfill.”

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