Church to urge government clampdown on supermarket food waste

The Church of England is set to urge the government to clamp down on supermarkets who needlessly waste surplus food.

Campaigners estimate around 10 million tonnes of food is wasted every year, 60 per cent of which could have been avoided. The Church's ruling parliament, general synod, will debate a motion on Friday asking the government to 'consider bringing forward legislation that would effectively mininize food waste by food retailers'.

Celebrity baker Tom Herbert at the launch of Tearfund's campaign to highlight the scale of food waste in the UK.Clive Mear/Tearfund

It comes after a parliamentary inquiry called for a drive to end hunger in Britain that included urging supermarkets to waste less food. Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, said of the edible food that was binned each year, just 2 per cent went to charity.

The Church's motion, led by Rev Andrew Dotchin, said the amount wasted by supermarkets was 'excessive' and urged all dioceses to 'lobby for all local food retailers to review their policy on waste food so that the amount made available to combat food poverty is maximized'.

If passed the Church would pressure ministers to bring forward legislation to minimise food waste.

Ministers have said they support the principle of reducing waste but have no plans to do so through legislation.