Food Waste Resolution

In June 2015, our Board of Directors agreed a resolution on food waste, with the aim of halving the amount of food wasted within the operations of our retailer and manufacturer members by 2025. The Resolution is of voluntary character, but authoritative (non-binding in a legal sense). It was voted upon by the Board on behalf of our members.

"As the Board of The Consumer Goods Forum, we recognise that food waste is a major social, environmental and economic challenge. It undermines food security, contributes to climate change, consumes scarce natural resources such as water unnecessarily, and costs money. We are committed to doing our part to help reduce food waste. Our aim is to:

1. First prevent food waste, then maximise its recovery towards the goal of halving food waste(1) within our own retail and manufacturing operations by 2025, versus a 2016 baseline.

2. Contribute to the UN goals by 2030(2):

  • to halve per capita global food waste at the consumer level,

  • and to reduce food losses along production and supply chains including post-harvest losses and maximise the value of the remaining waste.

We will achieve both by individual company initiatives, by engaging with our supply chains and end consumers (where material) and by working collectively in partnership with governments and NGOs". 

Why Food Waste?

The Environmental Sustainability Committee believes that the CGF needs to show strong leadership on food waste reduction. Here's why:
  • In a world of rising population, increasing cost of food, concerns about inequality and growing food insecurity, food waste is one of the greatest challenges of our time with 30% (1.3 billion tonnes) of food produced being wasted each year.
  • Food waste is also responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the planet's atmosphere per year. If food waste was a country it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally after China and the US.
  • The water footprint of food waste is equivalent to three times the volume of Lake Geneva.
  • The value of food wasted each year is $940 billion.
This belief is also supported by the UN, who has decided that the food waste reduction target proposed by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals shall be part of the post-2015 development agenda. And, as food waste occurs all along the food chain from farm to fork, we want to play our part to tackle this issue on a systemic basis.

How to Reduce Food Waste?

We will optimise our food loss and waste potential according to the following hierarchy:
  1. In the first instance, preventing food loss and waste, including through redistribution to feed people (if the food is still edible and safe to consume).
  2. Recovering food that is removed from the human food chain, through methods such as redirection to animal feed, industrial use, soil enrichment and energy generation. 
We are also working on an implementation and engagement plan that looks to create the 2016 baseline, introduce monitoring and reporting, develop specific communcation and outreach plans and develop an implementation toolkit. We are also looking to expand the Food Waste Working Group to engage more members and gain and share additional insights and best practices.
Food Waste and the CGF - From Farm to Fork
The CGF recognises that unchecked climate change will have a huge impact on the consumer goods sector, its customers and employees. With the COP21 Climate Summit occurring in Paris later this year, this new Food Waste Resolution, together with the CGF’s work on deforestation and low carbon refrigeration, demonstrates the industry’s commitment to play a leading role in limiting global temperature rises to 2°C.
Central to the Food Waste Resolution is the aim to set a clear benchmark for food waste arisings today and set measurable goals to reduce food waste in the future. The Resolution specifically commits to aligning the industry around the Food Loss & Waste Protocol being developed by the World Resources Institute


In September 2017, The Consumer Goods Forum along with Champions 12.3 approved a Call to Action to standardise food date labels worldwide by 2020, reducing food waste. By 2020 retailers and manufacturers will shift to just two date label options, with only one label on a food at a time, and will work with nonprofit and government partners to educate consumers about date labels as a means to cut down on consumer food waste. Click on the image below to download more information.


092017 Call to Action Food Date Labels
  • (1) Food waste will be assessed by individual member companies as food and/or associated inedible parts removed from the food supply chain and sent to disposal (landfill, draining or incineration without energy recovery) per unit of food sales (in constant currency)
  • (2) Based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Food Waste adopted by UN Member States in September 2015

Food Waste - the CGF and WRI - Food Loss & Waste Protocol