Parliamentary honour is food for thought

By Farnham Herald in Local People

A RARE Parliamentary honour has been bestowed on Hampshire County Council.

It was one of only two local authorities invited to give expert opinion to the Government’s food waste enquiry on February 1 as the Parliamentary Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs looked into the economic, social, and environmental impact of food waste in England.

Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “The amount of food wasted in the UK has far-reaching economic and environmental implications, and we very much welcome the opportunity to present our views and evidence as part of this national inquiry.”

In the UK, approximately eight million tonnes of food is wasted post-manufacture, including households, retail and wholesale, and the hospitality and food sector. This has an annual value of approximately £16bn per year.

Mr Humby continued: “Dealing with waste is costly for local authorities and, in turn, the taxpayer. With evidence showing that the average family throws away £60 of food each month, which could have been eaten, the costs of unnecessary food waste are certainly stacking up.

“In Hampshire, we’ve been running our Smart Living campaign, promoting simple steps to encourage people not to buy more than they need and throw away less, in order to get more value for money out of their weekly food budget. This has been well received by residents, but we can’t do this alone, we need commitment from everyone in the supply chain, including the Government, to effect lasting change.

“A fully supported, collaborative approach on a national scale is what’s needed. Dealing with how we handle waste is one thing but the real and critical issue that must be addressed is learning how we can all waste less in the first place.”

Hampshire County Council is committed to reducing food waste and is a signatory to both Courtauld 2025, which aims to cut the resource needed to provide our food and drink by one-fifth over 10 years, and Hubbub’s Joint Ambition For Zero Food Waste.

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