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This conference focused on latest developments and next steps for food waste, looking at policy, regulation and industry practice.
Stakeholders and policymakers discussed implications of WRAP’s refreshed Food Waste Reduction Roadmap aimed at accelerating the drive to meet 2030 targets.
It was an opportunity to examine issues around the implementation of weekly, separate food waste collections, including the infrastructure required and contractual challenges, as well as strategies for managing waste, increased demand for treatments such as anaerobic digestion, and building public engagement and awareness.
Delegates assessed the future for food waste reporting, including potential changes to procedure, the range of businesses and materials affected, and issues of cost, impact and enforcement, as Defra reviews responses to their 2022 consultation.
They also considered approaches for improving transparency and accountability, how reporting could work effectively across different sectors, and what a possible legislative and regulatory approach could look like if mandatory reporting were put in place.
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Dawn Woodward, Deputy Head Resources and Waste, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Helen Bird, Head of Business Collaboration, WRAP; Benjamin Barnes, Horticulture Consultant, ADAS; and Dr Gulbanu Kaptan, Associate Professor in Behavioural Decision Making, University of Leeds.
Overall, areas for discussion:
- policy and prevention programmes: meeting targets - putting effective programmes in place - progress so far - priorities going forward
- consumer behaviour: public awareness of new schemes - the impact of cost of living challenges - effect of environmental concerns on food waste initiatives
- food waste collections: managing separate collections and treatment - assessing the contractual implications - infrastructure and local waste management strategies required for implementation
- waste management: managing increased food waste - avoiding contamination - the increased use and accessibility of anaerobic digestion treatment plants
- extended producer responsibility: latest thinking on developments in packaging design - supporting food producers in delivering change - issues from increased end-product cost
- agriculture: assessing food waste prevention options - methods for measuring and reporting
- large food companies: improving reporting programmes - accountability and transparency - practicalities of implementation for different sector stakeholders
The discussion brought together stakeholders with key policy officials who attended from the CCC; DAERA, NI; DBT; Defra; DESNZ; Department of Finance, NI; EA; FSA; FSS; FCDO; NIAO; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.