The signatories of the Courtauld Commitment, including companies such as Asda, Warburtons and Waitrose, have signed up to work with WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) as part of its Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

They are aiming to reduce the amount of food the nation’s households throw away by 155,000 tonnes by 2010, compared to 2008.

Fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery products, dairy, meat and fish products – the highest sources of household food waste – will be targeted by the initiative.

WRAP CEO Liz Goodwin said: “This pledge signals a concerted and consistent approach by the grocery industry to reduce household food waste.

“Taking action under the Courtauld Commitment will help the grocery sector reduce the carbon impact of food waste while delivering significant cost savings straight to the consumer pocket.”

The retailers will work with WRAP to look at possible solutions such as labelling, pack sizes, storage advice and packaging designed to keep the food fresher for longer.

“We want to see packaging innovation and advice to help shoppers make positive product choices and make the best use of the food they buy,” Ms Goodwin said.

The initiative has been backed by the UK Government, as well as the Scottish government and Welsh Assembly.

Defra Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said: “I warmly welcome this commitment, which will ensure that not only are supermarkets, brand leaders and food processors now working to reduce food waste, but it will also help their customers buy wisely and thus reduce the cost to them.”

Many of the companies involved have already begun introducing changes to reduce the amount of food wasted by consumers, such as Warburtons, which has introduced a new smaller loaf, and Sainsbury’s, which has been running a Love Your Leftovers campaign.

Earlier this month, WRAP said the Love Food Hate Waste campaign has stopped 137,000 tonnes of food waste going in the bin (see related story).

Kate Martin

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