Phase three of the voluntary agreement ties in greater resource efficiency with continued sales growth for its 45 signatories, and could deliver up to £1.6bn of savings.

The targets are to reduce household food and drink waste by 5%, representing a 9% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in food purchased.

Also to cut traditional grocery ingredient, product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 3%. Here signatories will have to make an 8% reduction in real terms to counter the expected increase in production and sales.

Companies will also be expected to improve packaging design through the supply chain to maximise recycled content and improve recyclability.

They must ensure there is no increase in the carbon impact of packaging while working towards a 3% reduction in real terms to counter the expected sales increase.

The agreement is funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments and delivered by WRAP. It runs for three years from 2013 to 2015, with targets measured against a 2012 baseline.

Signatories include major grocery retailers, household brands and manufacturers. Commenting on the launch, WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin said that Courtauld 3 would build on the achievements of phases 1 and 2 by tackling the areas that deliver the greatest financial benefits to UK.

“Over the course of the three phases of the agreement, a 20% reduction in UK household food waste is achievable, a deeply impressive outcome,” she said.

The Courtauld Commitment has a history of achieving change. To date, 2.3 million tonnes of waste has successfully been prevented by signatories and consumers. The value of waste prevented is around £3.5bn.

Maxine Perella

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