Waste in supply chains

Tracing the supply chains that bring our food from farms around the world to supermarket shelves

Huge quantities of food are wasted before food even reaches supermarket shelves, in the supply chains of the retailers and other food businesses. Feedback has been investigating supply chain waste since 2015, in countries including the UK, Kenya, South Africa, Peru and Senegal.

What's the problem?

Food waste isn’t inevitable. It occurs because of business decisions taken, particularly by powerful players like supermarkets, which prioritise profit over waste-reduction. Feedback’s investigations into supermarket supply chains uncovered the hidden food waste burden retailers dump on their suppliers around the world. Causes include a culture of fear in which many farmers worry they’ll lose their contracts if they fail to meet an order, or complain about ill-treatment, leading many of them to overproduce and subsequently waste food.

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What's the solution?

Supermarkets and large food businesses need to be held responsible for the full extent of the waste they cause in food supply chains – not just the waste that comes from their stores. We call on supermarkets and policy makers to create binding food waste reduction targets from farm to fork. We implore supermarkets to pay farmers a fair price for food and for policy makers to create an environment where farmers are rewarded for sustainable practice.

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Latest updates in this campaign

Feedback welcomes major step forward for business as usual on food waste
Feedback welcomes major step forward for business as usual on food waste 25th Sep 18

Feedback’s Executive Director Carina Millstone welcomed an announcement from UK waste body…

Feedback response to Sainsbury’s and Asda merger
Feedback response to Sainsbury’s and Asda merger 30th Apr 18

In response to news of a planned merger between supermarket giants Sainsbury's…

Feedback welcomes EU legislation on Unfair Trading Practices as a step towards a fairer food supply chain
Feedback welcomes EU legislation on Unfair Trading Practices as a step towards a fairer food supply chain 12th Apr 18

Feedback welcomes the EU’s proposed Directive on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in…

New report – how supermarkets drive food waste on UK farms
New report – how supermarkets drive food waste on UK farms 22nd Feb 18

Our new report reveals how supermarkets drive food overproduction and waste on…

View more updates

What can you do to make a difference?

UK farm waste

Read our report 'Farmers talk food waste: Supermarkets’ role in crop waste on UK farms’

Read now
International supply chains

Read our report ‘Causes of food waste in international supply chains’

Read now