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Waste Not
WRAP’s New ‘Grower Guidance’ Helps Farms Fight Food Waste

WRAP has published new guidance expanding the reach of the UK’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, providing growers with advice on how best to identify the causes of food surplus and waste, and help inform where action is needed.

As startups and food giants alike continue to innovate by putting already wasted food to use, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) continues to work to stop the waste from happening in the first place.

Developed in collaboration with leading trade bodies and industry organizations, WRAP’s new Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Grower Guidance includes two practical ‘how-to’ guides and dedicated tools for in-field measurement.

WRAP estimates that roughly 3.6 million tonnes of either wasted or surplus food occurs on farms each year — equivalent to seven percent of the total food harvest, and a potential £1.2 billion loss to the sector. A large percentage of this can be attributed to fruits and vegetables being cut and trimmed to be aesthetically ‘perfect’ for retail sale — studies estimate that these practices cause over 60 percent of all romaine and over 40 percent of celery, just to name a few, to be wasted on US farms. The growing number of companies making deliberate use of “ugly” produce is helping, but they’re likely barely making a dent in farms’ overall food waste footprint.

“Our guides will show where action is needed on farm — whatever the scale of production or crop type, and whether hand or machine-harvested,” says WRAP Director Peter Maddox. “They are intuitive to use and set out the actions necessary to measure consistently to make comparisons over time, and between growers. I am delighted to have had the involvement of so many influential sector bodies in developing these guides.”

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The resources were developed following calls from agricultural businesses for practical guidance tailored to the needs of growers, and are free to download and use from the WRAP website.

WRAP hopes the Roadmap Grower Guidance will encourage measuring to become a common practice on farms, helping growers to increase productivity and realize financial savings. And implementation of the new guidelines will provide valuable data to improve understanding of surplus and waste on farm, and help the UK to meet its 2025 Courtauld Commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

Read more about WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap Grower Guidance