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

Desperately seeking climate ambition
Desperately seeking climate ambition 12th Dec 18

“There’s a need to raise ambition…” This phrase seemed to echo in…

Feedback at CoP24 – what can climate policy-makers do to fix our food system?
Feedback at CoP24 – what can climate policy-makers do to fix our food system? 29th Nov 18

The 24th 'Conference of the Parties' - the UN's yearly round of…

The food waste champion with a blind spot on regulation to prevent food waste
The food waste champion with a blind spot on regulation to prevent food waste 22nd Oct 18

Two years ago we wrote a blog about Anna Maria Corazza Bildt,…

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…

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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