Courtauld 2025 & reducing food waste – Sirane is there to help

REDUCING food waste has shot to the very top of the agenda with the launch of Courtauld 2025 – and Sirane is once again aiming to be at the forefront of innovation.

Industry body WRAP has been working on an industry-wide UK agreement to tackle the food waste problem, and today Courtauld 2025 formally superseded Courtauld 3.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “As companies start to look for solutions to the food waste problem, the message from Sirane is that packaging can make a huge difference – and we’re very much here to help. We’re a problem-solving company, so give us the problems.”

WRAP has held talks with leading supermarkets and retailers, following a damning report by the House of Lords which revealed the UK is responsible for one fifth of the EU’s food waste.

Courtauld 2025 is a 10-year voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the food chain – from producer to consumer – to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. Among its targets are a 20% reduction in food waste.

Courtauld 2025 will help consumers to avoid food waste, but crucially will target businesses in the supply chain and work with them to become more efficient and cut waste. The Courtauld 3 agreement targeted individual stages of the food cycle – household waste, supply chain waste and packaging waste – Courtauld 2025 looks at the whole cycle.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, Sirane sales director, said: “Innovative packaging can work throughout the supply chain, and can significantly cut wastage. Many of our products have been developed with exactly this goal in mind, as it’s an area we have expertise in.

“Our most recent product launch is anti-microbial absorbent pads for meat, poultry and seafood, and is a natural solution to a shelf-life problem. Additional shelf-life is one way of cutting food waste which benefits everyone in the food supply chain.

“Whether it’s meat or seafood, poultry or fresh produce, we’ve developed a range of solutions that help cut food waste, and we’d love to hear from companies who are interested in further development work in order to tackle industry problems.

“We’ve also developed an anti-microbial absorbent pad solution for soft-fruit – it often travels vast distances, so giving it the best possible chance of arriving in good condition is crucial.

“We work with producers, packers and retailers, so we are able to assist throughout the supply chain and offer solutions that can impact positively on wastage – Sirane is well-positioned to have just as positive an impact on the objectives of Courtauld 2025.

“Sirane developments from recent years include odour-absorbing pads which can be used, for example, in vac-packed meat to tackle confinement odour – a problem which can lead to perfectly good meat being thrown away by consumers wrongly believing it is off.

“We’ve also done a lot of work on shelf-life for fruit and vegetables, with new products including a breathable film and an absorbent cushioned protection pad for soft-fruit.”

Courtauld 2025’s case for action is straightforward. Meeting global demand for food in 2050, using method’s used today, could increase global temperatures by 2oC. Eight out of the top 10 countries we import food from are already drought prone… and for every two tonnes of food eaten in the UK, another tonnes goes to waste – £19 billion of food a year.

Aims include: embedding new criteria into design, buying and sourcing; optimising the whole supply chain to produce more with less; helping people get more value from food they buy, and finding innovative ways to make better use of waste and surpluses.

Simon Balderson added: “One of the aims is to design products that use less resources to produce or cook. We have oven-ready packaging that allows the food to be packed, shipped, sold and cooked in the same packaging. It even allows for higher temperature elevation, so allows for reduced cooking times and consequently saves on energy.”

Other targets of Courtauld 2025 include a reduction in the GHG intensity of food and drink consumed in the UK, and a reduction in impact associated with supply chain water use.

Supermarkets and food retailers came under fire from Westminster in April 2015 after a report published by the House of Lords EU Committee claimed British retailers are merely shifting the food waste blame on to customers with ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offers.

According to the committee, retailers are failing to take full responsibility for the amount of waste they contribute to the 222 million tonnes of food that gets wasted every year. Described by the Lords’ report as “morally repugnant”, Britain’s inability to tackle the food waste problem is said to be costing the economy at least £5 billion a year.

The report said supermarkets had a much bigger part to play in reducing waste, and that Britain’s retailers have the power to “influence the behaviour of producers, manufacturers and consumers but ”have failed to take their responsibilities sufficiently seriously”.

Evidence used by the committee demonstrated how retailers use deals like Buy One Get One Free offers to encourage consumers to buy in larger volumes so retailers can move stock they may have over-ordered on. Retailers only directly account for around 5 per cent of food waste – with consumers causing 42 per cent and producers 39 per cent – but the report argued closer analysis shows retailers have developed ways to make other parts of the supply chain take on the waste they have caused, by cancelled orders, over-ordering or insisting on standards that a significant proportion of a farmer’s crop cannot reach.

Sirane is an innovative packaging design, development, manufacture and solutions company which specialises in areas including absorbency and ovenable/microwaveable products, compostable packaging, films, boards, absorbent pads, and much more.

For more information on Sirane’s food packaging solutions, contact Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055 or email jeremy@sirane.com.

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