WRAP unveils The Courtauld Commitment to transform UK food & drink

The UK’s resource efficiency charity WRAP, on behalf of the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, today unveils a pioneering commitment which brings together organisations from across the food system for the first time to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable for the future.

90 signatories including all major UK food retailers, brands, food service companies, trade bodies and local authorities already signed up

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is the world–leading voluntary agreement to work along the entire food chain to reduce the environmental impact of our food and drink, from farm to fork and beyond. Signatories announced at the launch of the agreement include the world’s largest food and drink manufacturer, and all the major UK retailers; representing over 93% of the 2016 UK market share.

  • 2degrees has signed the commitment. See who else is involved here.
  • Retailers: Aldi, ASDA, CO-OP, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Musgraves, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
  • Brands & manufacturers: Associated British Food, ARLA, Coca Cola Enterprises, Heineken, Nestlé, Premier Foods, Unilever, and Warburtons.
  • Hospitality and food service: Apetito, Bidvest, Compass, KFC, OCS, Pizza Hut.
  • Local authorities: 23 authorities including the London Waste and Recycling Board and the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee representing more than 31% of the UK’s population.
  • Trade and sector organisations and Academia: British Hospitality Association, British Retail Consortium, Chilled Food Association, Dairy UK, Food & Drink Federation, Food Standards Agency, Institute of Hospitality, Sustainable Restaurant Association and WWF.

The commitment goes further than ever before with three ambitious targets:

  1. A 20% reduction in food and drink waste arising in the UK
  2. A 20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK
  3. A reduction in impact associated with water use in the supply chain
The Courtauld Commitment 2025: Leading organisations from across the food chain to work together to tackle food and drink waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water intensity

The Commitment will drive best practice through its unique whole-system approach to the way food and drink is produced, sold and consumed in the UK. For the first time it will bring all parties together under one voluntary agreement to achieve collective goals. By building on the progress already achieved with retailers, brands, manufacturers and the hospitality sector and bringing in the farming sector and local authorities it will be more challenging, but also more rewarding. Signatories will work together with WRAP to identify new actions and opportunities to save resources which can be shared across the entire supply chain, to make the whole system more sustainable and resilient to supply chain disruptions. Signatories also commit to implementing changes, measuring the benefits, and helping other businesses and people to realise savings.

Local authorities and trade bodies will be vital in helping engage people in and out of home and raise awareness to a wider range of businesses outside of the main signatory base, essential given the targets extend to UK-wide impacts.

WRAP will report on progress to reflect the combined impact across the entire food system, and estimates that meeting the Commitment targets will deliver £20 billion worth of savings to the UK economy. The majority of the savings will be enjoyed by individuals; with approximately £4 billion in business savings possible. The Commitment will help the UK deliver its part in the objectives of COP 21, and put the UK on track to reduce food waste by half (home and retail), in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3*.

"The Commitment will help the UK deliver its part in the objectives of COP 21, and put the UK on track to reduce food waste by half (home and retail), in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3"

Dr Richard Swannell, Director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, said “The pressures of resource scarcity, population growth and our changing climate will have profound effects on our food supply in the coming years, and business efficiency. To safeguard UK food we need a step-change to increase sustainable food and drink production and consumption, conserve resources and combat climate change. Courtauld 2025 will do this.

“Collaboration has never been more important, which is why I want to thank the
businesses and organisations that have committed to taking action. This is an ambitious undertaking and having key signatories on board on day one puts us in a strong position at the start of this new era for our food industry. I look forward to welcoming other leading organisations as signatories over the coming weeks, months and years and delivering this ambitious agreement.”

Resources Minister Rory Stewart said: “Food waste - at any stage from the farm to the house - is something we should avoid. It wastes precious water and resources. So I am delighted that this great group of food and drink companies has come together with WRAP to reduce our food waste.

“Under the last framework we have already reduced food waste in the supply chain by ten per cent. And this team-work and leadership should allow us to go much further.”

Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant said: “Courtauld 2025 is an ambitious, long-term voluntary agreement which will bring together a diverse range of stakeholders from throughout Wales and beyond, to cut the waste and greenhouse emissions associated with food and drink.

“Through collaboration, innovation and shared expertise it will deliver real economic and environmental benefits for Wales as well as deliver a more sustainable Food and Drink Sector for Wales and contribute to green growth.”

WRAP will work directly with industry and other stakeholders to support actions under four main areas:

  • Embedding sustainable principles and practices into the design, buying and sourcing of food;
  • Optimising resource efficiency throughout entire supply chains to help produce more goods using less resources;
  • To influence behaviours around consumption and reduce waste in the home; and
  • To find innovative ways to make the best use of surplus and waste food.

About WRAP

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, Zero Waste Scotland, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. www.wrap.org.uk @WRAP_UK

First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity. WRAP works with UK governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency. 

For further information contact:
Contact Ian Palmer, PR Officer
Tel 01295 819 677
Email: ian.palmer@wrap.org.uk