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January 10, 2013

Andrew Opie
Director of Food and Sustainability, BRC
Reacting to a report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers claiming that households throw away half the food they buy and supermarket promotions and reluctance to stock produce that is not visually attractive are part of the cause, Andrew Opie, British Retail Consortium (BRC) Director of Food and Sustainability said:

"A Government-sponsored report published last year showed that there was no link between promotions and food waste. The main method of promotions in this area is cutting the price rather than Buy One Get One Free offers, which are rare.

"Retailers want to help customers make their money go further. They've also adopted a range of approaches to help people make the best use of the food they buy, including giving clear storage advice and recipe ideas, and offering a wider range of portion sizes.

"Using more of the crop to cut food waste and increase sustainable production is an objective for all retailers. This is how we are exceeding Government targets for food waste. It was supermarkets that lobbied Europe to relax strict marketing rules on fruit and veg. to allow us to sell more misshapen produce. This has led to an enormous increase in the sale of ‘wonky' veg as highlighted this Christmas. We'll continue to work with growers to use more British produce, cut food waste and give customers great value. It's a win, win, win."

Notes to Editors:
The Government's waste reduction delivery body WRAP found that one in 25 (4 per cent) of shoppers had actually wasted food bought as part of a promotion during the survey period.

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