Wales introduces sector plan to reduce food waste

The Welsh Government has introduced the Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan with a view to preventing waste, reducing waste production and increasing recycling across supply chains.

The new scheme supports Wales’ ongoing ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy and underlines the importance of:


  • waste prevention, and more sustainable ways of consuming and producing
  • very high levels of reuse and recycling of the waste that is produced, and make sure that it is the right type of recycling (i.e. closed loop); in particular, for reuse, food waste from the food manufacturing sector to be used as animal feed
  • sending food waste to anaerobic digestion plants to generate valuable renewable energy and fertiliser


According to research from not-for-profit organisation Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the estimated financial value of one tonne of food and drink waste is £950 per tonne, rising to £1200 per tonne for the retail sector.

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said: “This sector plan is broad, covering food and associated packaging waste and looking at the entire food supply chain after it has left the farm, from manufacturer to consumer.

“It focuses on the role that food manufacturers, wholesale suppliers, retailers and the service sector can play in reducing and recycling waste – and save money at the same time.

“It’s vital that Welsh businesses can be competitive and resilient in world markets. Ensuring a secure supply of materials, and making the most efficient use of materials is key to this, as well as the potential to make savings and become more efficient.”

The proposed waste prevention target laid out in the report is a 1.4% food and drink waste reduction (of the 2007 baseline) per annum to 2050.

Sargeant said: “We are continuing our focus on developing a circular economy in Wales, which moves us away from the current linear model where materials are fed in to the economy at the start and discarded at the end.”

Click here to read edie’s 10 things you need to know about the circular economy

In January this year, edie reported on the extra funds received by Welsh councils to help them increase recycling rates and meet their ‘zero waste’ targets.


Lois Vallely

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