There is growing concern that we waste a very high proportion of all the food that is produced on the planet. This has lead to politicians in both the European Union and UK parliament to consider ways in which statutory controls may be put in place in order to reduce this. One of the first challenges is to understand the size and scale of the problem by measuring food waste. A House of Lords select committee report provides an excellent overview of this.
Amongst other things it discusses the nature of ‘waste’ at different stages in the supply chain – from agricultural production through to consumer consumption. It finds that ‘waste’ may need to be defined differently at each stage, and that measuring it is easier at the end of the supply chain than at the beginning. One conclusion is that large scale operators along the food chain should voluntarily disclose their levels of waste, as this has proven to effective in other countries.