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Needham Market: Baroness urges supermarkets to end ‘buy one get one free’ deals to tackle issue of food waste

17:58 08 April 2014

Baroness Scott

Baroness Scott


Supermarkets should move away from offers such as “buy one get one free” to help end the “morally repugnant” waste of millions of tonnes of food, a Suffolk peer has said.

Call for end of food deals to reduce levels of food wasteCall for end of food deals to reduce levels of food waste

Baroness Scott of Needham Market, who is chairman of The Lords EU Committee, said the peers were “shocked” at the scale of food waste, which sees 15 million tonnes of food dumped each year in the UK and at least 90 million tonnes across the EU as a whole.

In a report, the committee said the EU’s efforts to reduce food waste were “fragmented and untargeted” and called for the new European Commission to publish a five-year strategy within six months of taking office later this year.

Baroness Scott said: “Food waste in the EU and the UK is clearly a huge issue. Not only is it morally repugnant, but it has serious economic and environmental implications.

“The fact that 90 million tonnes of food is wasted across the EU each year shows the extent of the problem and explains why we are calling for urgent action.

“Globally, consumers in industrialised nations waste up to 222 million tonnes of food a year, which is equivalent to nearly the entire level of net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We cannot allow the complexity of the issues around defining and monitoring food waste to delay action any further.”

The report found that the carbon footprint of worldwide food waste is equivalent to twice the global greenhouse gas emissions of all road transportation in the US.

Baroness Scott added: “There is also much that can be done domestically, and in particular by the big retailers, to reduce food waste. We are urging the supermarkets to look again at offers such as ‘buy one get one free’, which can encourage excess consumption which leads to food waste.

The committee also said big retailers should stop cancelling orders of food from farmers after the produce has been grown, a practice which leads to edible food being ploughed back into the fields.

More unused food should be donated to food banks, the committee added.



  • Buy one get one free is a great help to most families given the ridiculously high cost of food. I'm more concerned about the mountains of food wasted by shops at the end of each and every day simply because the best before or use by date has been reached, it has been proved that this food is still perfectly good safe and edible and could be used to help the homeless yet it is thrown away because rules say it must be. Food never used to come with dates, people used common sense and a lot less was wasted.

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • perhaps the rich throw it away [ the poor with large familys need these offers.real rich persons story.

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • I don't believe the House of Lords were shocked at all as most of them seem to spend the day sleeping and mumbling inane comments. Baroness Scott another so called elite ruling class that thinks we can't be trusted to buy BOGOF offers sensibly without throwing most of it away. There is not much food waste in my house as I use these offers and buy food sensibly. Apparently we can't be trusted to do this by the nanny state. I wonder how much food waste there is in taxpayer subsidised bars and resturants in the Houses of Parliament, loads I would imagine.

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    Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • "Buy one get one free" offers are a big help to families and households on tight budgets. Those on tight budgets tend to economise and try to avoid food wastage. Perhaps this unelected politician should spend some time in the real world.

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • I keep reading about people throwing away so much food and I wonder if some parallel world exists as it doesnt happen in my house. I think we're a bit more intelligent than the ruling class make us out to be.

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Instead of having a pop at the big bad evil supermarkets, maybe the Baroness should suggest consumers take more responsibility for their actions.

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    K Mcc

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • There's something very wrong with our society which allows the supermarkets to overstock food under the guise of 'competition' and throw so much of it away when it reaches an arbitrary Best Before date. And then a Government Committee sits on its leather upholstered chairs and says more of it should be given to food banks!! One reason people have to resort to food banks is that food is so expensive because supermarkets pass on the costs of wasting it to the consumer! Can we get rid of all politicians at next year's elections and turn the Houses of Parliament into something useful, like a pound shop.

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • I live on my own so the 2-1 on fresh produce does not help me at all - I do not want to eat the same thing for days on end, rather than throw it away. I would prefer the half price (when I would buy just 1) but of course the supermarkets do not as the total spend will drop. Larger households would benefit as items would still be cheaper .

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • It's not only supermarkets that price up two for one on ipswich market today one stall have 2 cucumbers for a pound while at aldi one was 45p

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    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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