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Food industry and trade -- Environmental aspects -- Great Britain, Food waste, Packaging waste, Sustainable agriculture, Business logistics -- Environmental aspects


This report presents the results of the project entitled “Evidence on the role of supplier-retailer trading relationships and practices in waste generation in the food chain” commission by Defra (Project Code SFFSD0705) and undertaken by Cranfield University and IGD between July 2008 and June 2009.

The overall aim of the project was to provide a qualitative analysis of the food and packaging waste arising from the link between food manufacturers and retailers in the UK. The specific objectives of the project were:

  • To identify the root causes of waste between suppliers and retailers in the UK
  • To assess the magnitude of each root cause
  • To identify good practices and examine the enablers and inhibitors of their implementation
  • To provide recommendations at a company and government level that will help the food and retail industries to jointly address the root causes of waste

The study had a UK perspective and it focused on the relationship between food retailers and their suppliers, and how their business processes and practices affect waste. Waste of finished products, discarded by producers, wholesalers, hauliers or retailers was the primary focus, and waste arising during production and agricultural processes was excluded from the study. However, during the project we collected additional information concerning other stages of the chain and other countries, which we have used for comparative purposes.


A product of Cranfield University and IGD. Final Report.

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

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