To meet the Courtauld Commitment 2030 food waste target and UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3, collaborative and concerted efforts to reduce food waste are required. Redistributing surplus food is one of the best ways that businesses can help to reduce the amount of food that ends up as waste.

Key findings

  • The amount of surplus redistributed in 2021 was over 106,000 tonnes, worth over £330 million and the equivalent of over 253 million meals. Surplus food redistributed via charitable channels made up 69% of the total in 2021, a proportion that has increased from 40% in 2015. The amounts handled by charities has increased by more than six times over the six-year period, compared with a 97% increase for the commercial sector.
  • Since UK-level data was first reported in 2015, overall levels of redistribution have increased over three-fold. Cumulatively between 2015 and 2021, 426,000 tonnes of surplus food have been redistributed, worth in excess of £1.3 billion pounds and equivalent to more than a billion meals. However, there remains significant opportunities, in the UK food manufacturing, retail, hospitality & food service, and primary production sectors to continue to increase the amount of surplus food made available for redistribution from 2021 and beyond.
  • Since 2017, when WRAP first collected reliable tonnage data by source of food surplus, food surplus from retail has increased by 105% (26,000 tonnes) and manufacture has increased by 74% (18,900 tonnes). Surplus from hospitality & food service saw a 523% increase (5,400 tonnes), albeit from a much smaller base, and there has also been an increase in surplus from farms.

Please note: the report has been updated as of 20 July 2022. This is due to a minor change in the classification of one the organisations' data submission. There have been no significant changes to the headline data.

WRAP has previously reported on progress on increasing surplus food redistribution between 2015 and 2018 and surplus food redistribution between 2015 and 2020, and this report provides additional data for 2021.

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  • WRAP Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015 to 2021

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