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Fruit trade -- Environmental aspects -- Great Britain, Vegetable trade -- Environmental aspects -- Great Britain, Food waste, Packaging waste, Sustainable agriculture


Research by WRAP has shown that households waste around three million tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year, raising concerns about the economic and environmental impacts of food waste. This study has been conducted to quantify the level of loss and waste of fruit and vegetables before they reach consumers, through the retail and wholesale supply chain. Furthermore, the study determined how, where and why the product was wasted.

Eleven fresh produce types were selected based on their consumption, post-harvest physiology and management. The 11 products chosen were strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, lettuce, apples, onions, potatoes, brassicas, citrus, avocados and bananas; these being representative of fresh produce categories consumed in the UK. The research focused on the retail and wholesale supply chains from field (UK grown products only) to final (retail) customer.

Through structured interviews, lasting around an hour each, over 45 UK fresh produce suppliers, wholesalers and retailers were asked for their views on the causes, level and destination of waste for the 11 products studied in this research. In addition to the interviews, secondary data on waste was collected by tracking specific fresh produce consignments through the supply chain, which provided a valuable sense-check on the data provided during the interviews; both have been used to inform this report.


A product of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Project code: RSC008. Final report

May be accessed at

Note: At the time of writing, Carlos Mena was affiliated with Cranfield University.

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