On October 18th 2023, The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Food Waste Coalition Steering Committee came together ahead of the Sustainable Retail Summit in Copenhagen to discuss progress made on the Coalition’s objectives and the trajectory forwards as it moves towards its 2030 deadline on Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

The day began with two guided visits of WeFood and Bilka OneStop, during which members were able to share insightful dialogue on the topic of food waste, and garner insights into how these two local retailers are working to tackle the issue, effectively addressing and empowering consumers in store.

During the Steering Committee meeting, retailer and manufacturer members came together to discuss the actions being taken in the different Coalition workstreams, including on measurement and reporting, tackling food waste upstream, and downstream at the consumer engagement level. Decarbonation was also high on the agenda for discussion, with Coalition members highlighting the important link between tackling food waste and reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, members heard updates from the local working groups in China and Latin America.

Members from the following companies were in attendance: Ahold Delhaize, Aldi Sud, Grupo Bimbo, Merck Animal Health, Kerry Group, Kraft Heinz,  BEL, Grupo Exito, Kellanova, MAF Carrefour, McCain, Spinneys, Tesco, Unilever, Walmart and Zabka. Coalition members were joined by representatives from key stakeholder organisations, The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), World Resources Institute (WRI), and McKinsey.

The end of the Steering Committee meeting marked the start of the CGF’s 8th annual edition of the Sustainable Retail Summit, which brings together more than 200 world-class sustainability leaders from the industry and beyond. Food waste was high on this year’s agenda, and the first full day saw Coalition co-chair Chris Franke, Senior Manager, Global Sustainability at Walmart join Ayla Ziz, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Chief Customer Officer at Danone, and Paul Lalli, Global VP, Human Rights at The Coca-Cola Company for a panel entitled “Driving Business Impact: Health & Sustainability Insights from the Field”. They shared tangible actions that members are taking on health and sustainability, including food waste, highlighting the importance of taking a holistic view. Businesses cannot thrive unless the people and places around them are thriving too, they concluded.

Later in the day, Chris Franke returned to the stage, this time joined by Coalition members Tony McElroy from Tesco and Johannes Bachstädter from Aldi Sud for an interactive breakout moderated by Kai Robertson entitled “Addressing Circularity Through the Lens of Food Loss and Waste – An Integrated Approach Across the Supply Chain”. Panellists shared that food loss and waste currently accounts for around 10% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, and stressed that industry action is urgently needed throughout the supply chain. They each shared innovative and practical case studies – including finding a way to upcycle perfectly edible pumpkins with cosmetic flaws – an example shared by Aldi Sud.

For more details on the CGF’s work to accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 and halve food loss per capita worldwide, visit www.tcgffoodwaste.com.