Why Reducing Food Waste in Manufacturing is so Important

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates that 70% of food waste comes from households, 12% from hospitality, 2% from retail and a further 16% from the manufacturing industry.

Food waste (waste that doesn’t leave the farm, is spoiled during distribution or thrown away in homes) isn’t just a humanitarian concern, but an environmental one too. The vast majority of food waste ends up in landfill, and as this food breaks down over time, it generates greenhouse gases that then contribute to global warming.

What’s more, the carbon energy used in procuring and transporting foods that are then wasted, further adds to this climate crisis. As it stands, food waste contributes to around one-third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

At Meadow, reviewing what actions we can take as manufacturers to reduce food waste is part of our core ESG strategy. Reducing food waste in the manufacturing process is not only crucial for optimising the use of our resources and lowering production costs, but also reducing our environmental impact. Our aim at Meadow is to push the industry toward a low-emissions future and provide the most sustainable ingredients to our customers.

Five Reasons to Reduce Food Waste

1. To mitigate the impacts of global warming:

In the UK alone, food waste generates approximately 25 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, making for a significant contributor to climate change. Mitigating these impacts is important to safeguard both an environmentally and economically stable future.

2. To ensure increased food security in the supply chain:

By finding ways to extend shelf life, pack, pick, transport and deliver food more efficiently, we can prevent food loss early in the supply chain. This will help to increase supply chain resilience and reduce impact when there are supply chain disturbances.

3. To provide credibility and reliability:

Preventing food waste means investing in effective quality assurance practices. This means that less products will need to be recalled due to spoilage and food products will be more appealing to the end-consumer. Both credibility and reliability with suppliers will be upheld in return.

4. Financial savings:

When products stay fresher for longer, customers will have more time to buy and use food whilst it’s still safe. This means that there is a greater window for sales and a lesser chance of food recall.

5. Upkeep with government targets:

The UK government has set a target to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025 whilst WRAP aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Meeting and adhering to government regulations and targets is essential to guiding an effective ESG strategy.

Reducing Food Waste at Meadow

At Meadow, we work under the Food Waste Reduction Road Map (Target, Measure, Act) to ensure that we create economic and environmental value by reducing our food waste and carbon emissions.

We continuously review and analyse data to monitor both our food waste and food efficiencies. We are then able measure impact to set improvement targets.

Our methods of managing food waste include:

Some of Our Success Stories

Water Reduction:

Water reduction is a key KPI for us at Meadow. We have been focusing our efforts on the reuse of permeate water and upgrading condensate recovery. Each site discharges water waste to either an on-site treatment facility or direct to sewer. We continuously review our water against a ‘reduce waste to drain’ initiative that manages the amount and process of our waste.

Food Waste Reduction:

We are proud to be diverting 100% of waste from landfill with B&M Waste Services Ltd. We have worked in partnership with B&M to create a tailored yet simplistic waste strategy that increases recycling and reduces carbon.

Click here to find out more about our latest ESG report.

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