Reducing food waste in the UK

Catherine Fookes - 19 June 2013

In May, leading retailers in the UK announced their latest bids to reduce food waste by trialling new packaging in stores that claims to keep fruit and vegetable fresher.

Food waste in the UK is a major issue with UK households throwing away over 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year - the majority of which could have been eaten. To make matters worse, it’s costing us £12 billion a year and is having an impact on the environment as well. Retailers such as Tesco estimate that the new packaging, being trialled on tomatoes and avocados, could save over 1.6m packs of tomatoes and 350,000 packs of avocados every year - numbers not to be sniffed at.

Food waste is an issue close to the Organic. Naturally Different campaign’s heart. We are urging consumers to reduce their food waste by showing them how eating organic can form part of an economical lifestyle. By shopping, cooking and planning wisely, consumers can make quality ingredients go a lot further.

Chef ambassador for the campaign Monica Galetti, is helping urge consumers to pay more attention to the food they put in their shopping basket. Taking five core organic ingredients, Monica has cleverly put together a number of mouth-watering seasonal recipes to demonstrate how to make your food go further. The meals cost from as little as 58p per portion (Monica’s organic gnocchi with horseradish and fennel) and showcase the great value of organic. See Monica’s delicious recipes in full.

Basket of organic shoppingAt our launch event with Monica we spent £53 - the average weekly shop as stated by the Office for National Statistics - on organic ingredients. Pictured (right) shows just how much organic food and drink you can actually buy for £53.

The issue of food wastage is an important one. Whatever the food, whether organic or non-organic, we can each play an important role to help cut food wastage and save money - just by thinking more carefully about how we consume food.

Catherine Fookes is Campaign Manager for the Organic. Naturally different campaign, a campaign set up by the Organic Trade Board and part EU funded to show consumers how organic food is food as it should be, less fake and naturally different. For more information and details of Monica Galetti’s recipes for the campaign visit or on

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Peter J
09 October 2015 09:42

The food industry produces large amounts of food waste, with retailers alone generating 1,600,000 tonnes of food waste per year. Supermarkets particularly have been criticised for wasting items which are damaged or unsold (what the industry calls 'surplus food'), but that often remain edible.However, exact statistics for the amount of food wasted by supermarkets is mostly unavailable; although a few voluntarily release data on food waste, it is not required by law. Similarly, limited information is available on amounts generated by the agricultural sector. Before a reversal of European Union policy in 2008, which came into effect on July 1, 2009, misshaped or 'wonky' fruit and vegetables could not be sold by retailers and were required to be thrown awayGreets!

Wendy Lowe
20 June 2013 14:37

There would not be so much waste if we fed it to our pigs instead of throwing it away in landfill sites. Lack of feed for animals is the excuse for giving them GM feed. In other countries they would turn the waste into energy

19 June 2013 22:43

The question which comes to mind straight away is what is the new packaging made from and is it recyclable?

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