Food waste

In the UK, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year. Small changes will make a big difference, and everyone can play their part.

Key facts

Food waste is a global issue. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations one third of the global food production is lost or wasted annually.

In the UK, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten.

Wasting this food costs the average household in the UK £470 a year.

Bread, fruit and vegetables are the most commonly thrown away foods.

Food waste - the issue

With the global population set to rise to over 9.5 billion by 2050 there are huge pressures facing the world’s food system. We do not yet know what the future will bring for food, but we do know that business as usual is not an option.

We can all contribute to a better food future by reducing the amount of food we waste. Small changes will make a big difference, and everyone can play their part. Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes.

There are two main reasons why we throw away good food: we buy or make too much or we don't use it in time. Check out our recipes to help you avoid food waste and always eat, cook or freeze food by the use by date.

Businesses have a role to play in reducing food waste too. WRAP research shows that the UK manufacturing and retail sector wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food and drink a year, 1.1 million tonnes is avoidable. Which is why we will be speaking to businesses to find out what they are doing to reduce food waste and what more can be done.

Food waste redistribution

On 6 July 2016 the FSA held an industry round table event entitled 'Addressing the challenges in food waste redistribution'. The event was attended by 50 representatives from the retailer, charity and NGO sectors. The presentations from this event can be found below and a full note of the meeting will be published shortly.