The UK Government’s food surplus and waste champion Ben Elliot and Environmental Secretary Michael Gove are calling on operators to cut down food wastage by 50% before 2030.

Elliot and Gove will host a ‘Step up to the Plate’ symposium with food retail and hospitality leaders at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London next week. Attendees will be asked to make a commitment to measuring and reducing their own food waste.

The pledge asks attendees to commit to halving food waste by 2030, adopting the WRAP and IDGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to have half of all 250 of the UK’s largest food businesses measuring, reporting and acting on food waste by 2019, and participating in a Food Conversation week in November 2019.

Gove said: “Together we must end the moral, economic and environmental scandal of food waste. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but I urge businesses to join me in signing the pledge so we can bring about real change.

Elliot said: “Wasting food is an environmental, moral and financial scandal. We intend for the symposium and pledge to spark action, not just conversation and inspire us all to champion change.”

WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said: “WRAP’s work through Courtauld Commitment 2025, the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, and the Love Food Hate Waste campaign will support the far-reaching ambition of the pledge and we look forward to working with Ben closely as we join forces to tackle one of the key issues of our generation.”

This is the latest in a string of environmental changes the UK Government has started; earlier this year it launched a pilot scheme to reduce food waste from retailers and food manufacturers. This came from another strategy started in December when the government announced a Resources and Waste Strategy for businesses and manufacturers to recycle or dispose of their packaging waste.