Knowledge for better food systems

Voluntary Agreements as a solution for food waste reduction

This policy briefing from EU food waste research project REFRESH outlines how ‘Voluntary Agreements’ between stakeholders throughout the supply chain can be used to reduce food waste, and makes policy suggestions to favour the creation of such agreements.

The report argues that the benefits of Voluntary Agreements includes their flexibility and ability to rapidly adjust to suit changing conditions, since they are not legally binding instruments. An example of a Voluntary Agreement is the Courtauld Commitment, which aims to reduce waste in the UK grocery sector.

The report sets out several policy recommendations to support Voluntary Agreements, including:

  • Provide long-term financing and governance structures
  • Establish an independent third party to lead the agreement
  • Have a clear measurement methodology to define progress and track results

Read the full report, REFRESH Policy Brief: Voluntary Agreements as a collaborative solution for food waste reduction, here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food loss and food waste?

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