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Your business is food - support for food and drink manufacturers

It’s simple – reducing the amount of food your manufacturing business throws away makes sense. Food waste takes many forms, yet it all has a value.

We want to help you make the business of food waste prevention and reduction easier.

Every year UK food manufacturers throw away around 1 million tonnes of food worth a staggering £1.2 billion per year. What’s more, and it is avoidable.

The less food thrown away, the more profit your business can make. What’s wasted isn’t limited to the food lost or thrown away in production. It typically includes the cost of ingredients, energy, water, labour, storage and transport. When you add these costs up the can total between 5 and 20 times more than the cost of disposal alone.

Reducing the food your manufacturing business throws away can help reduce supply chain risk and improve relationships with customers. And naturally there are environmental benefits such as reduced carbon impact, which will improve your company’s corporate social responsibility performance.

Reducing one tonne of food waste prevents 5 tonnes of Co2e emmissions.

So, how to prevent food waste?

Reducing the amount of food – and profits - thrown away is easier than you might have thought. The first step is to understand how much food your business throws away, and what it’s worth.

“Being able to attribute data to specific processes could present significant future opportunities, particularly with regard to identifying inefficient processes and justifying future investment.” Adam Wilson, QHSE Manager, Paterson Arran Ltd.

Once measured, the changes needed to reduce food waste in your operations are often easy to implement, low or no-cost solutions.

‘Your Business is Food; don’t throw it away’ gives food manufacturers practical tools to start making savings by reducing food waste. Your Business is Food has been developed by WRAP under the Courtauld Commitment 2025.  Designed with industry partners, it offers practical guidance, resources and tools to help you target food waste, establish what it’s costing your business, and take simple steps to reduce it.

Measure, manage and save in three easy steps.

Practical guidance includes advice on how to measure and manage food waste with a straightforward three-step process:

Step 1: Review the food you throw away.

Step 2: Make an action plan.

Step 3: Keep it going!

Ready to get going? Your business should find the tools helpful whether you are just starting to measure food waste - or are already doing so and are looking to make the process easier and more efficient. The first thing you need is the handy Starter Guide which contains everything you need to know to get started.

Food waste review cost calculator

This Excel spreadsheet contains the same information as the paper-based Food Waste Review Sheet but handily helps you to calculate the costs of the food being disposed of.

Template action plan

Plan the actions your business will take to reduce the amount of food thrown away on site using the Action Plan template. Remember to focus on the actions that enable your business to achieve the biggest savings, and ensure your team know how to play their part.

Walk round check list

Use the walk around checklist to help you complete an initial assessment of where food is being thrown away on site.

How much is food is wasted by UK manufacturers each year?

1 million tonnes worth £1.2 billion 

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