Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Morrisons are among the companies who have already signed up to the scheme’s principles, which includes a goal to halve food waste by 2030.
According to the United Nations FAO, around a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted.
In the UK alone, more than 10 million tons of food is wasted from farm to fork, worth over £20bn ($25.8bn) a year.
Households throw the majority away, with the manufacturing sector accounting for around 1.8 million tons.
Environmental, economic and moral scandal
“Every year, millions of tons of good, nutritious food is thrown away,” said UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove at the signing event held in London earlier this week.
“This is an environmental, economic and moral scandal, and I am determined to tackle it.”
He is urging more businesses to set their own targets to help contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 12.3) of halving per capita global food waste by 2030.
The government also wants companies to adopt the WRAP’s (Waste and Resources Action Program) Food Waste Reduction Roadmap.
It shows the actions large businesses take to address food waste in their own operations, support their suppliers in taking action, and engage with consumers to reduce their food waste.
The aim is to have 250 of the UK’s largest food businesses involved by 2026.
Other initiatives include discounts on food sold after its ‘best before’ dates and smaller size portions at reduced prices.