UK food producer and supplier Cranswick is taking steps towards becoming a zero food waste operator.

The company has joined Friends of Champions 12.3, an organisation dedicated to reducing food waste by 2030 based on a 2015 benchmark. Target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to halve per capita global food waste and reduce food losses during the production and supply chain.

Cranswick announced in January that it aimed to become the first British food manufacturer to cut out the use of all avoidable plastic by 2025.

Through Cranswick’s Second Nature Initiative, the company wants to set a precedent for the food industry on how manufacturers tackle food sustainability. The initiative gained prominence after a 2017 internal review highlighted the importance of sustainability to shareholders and employees.

“We want to be agents of change, addressing key environmental and social issues from farm to fork. Second Nature is not just a project; it is a movement whereby we fully intend to change the world in which we operate,”​said Cranswick group commercial director Jim Brisby.

“We aim to lead sustainability across agriculture and food production on a global scale by integrating sustainability as second nature to what we do, how we work, and why we do it.”

Word Resources Institute senior fellow for food loss and waste director Dr Liz Goodwin said she was delighted that Cranswick has joined the campaign to reduce food waste, as set out in the Target 12.3.

“It’s great to see the commitment it is making to reducing food loss and waste in its operations and that it has already taken steps in the right direction. We need more organisations to step up like Cranswick in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Earlier this week, Aldi UK & Ireland became the first UK supermarket to join Friends of Champions 12.3, suggesting that the agreement and food waste reduction in general are is gaining traction for processors and retailers alike.

Champions 12.3 is currently led by Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and members include food giants Nestlé and Kellogg, as well as Swedish furniture giant Ikea.

Reducing carbon emissions – Courtauld 2025

Cranswick is also a member of Courtauld 2025, a voluntary agreement run by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to make UK food and drink production more sustainable. It aims to cut waste and carbon emissions by at least one-fifth per person in 10 years.  One of the key features of Courtauld 2025 is to use 100% renewable energy from 1 March 2018.

WRAP head of food sustainability David Moon said: “We are delighted that Cranswick has signed up to Courtauld Commitment 2025. They join more than 150 signatories from across the entire food chain – farm to fork, who are working to collectively cut UK food waste and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% across the sector, by 2025.

“Their ambition to become 100% renewable is very impressive, and the company’s focus on change across their entire operations – from agriculture to food production – mirrors our own mandate of Courtauld 2025, and will ultimately also help towards SDG 12.3.”

Courtauld offers active working groups in meat, dairy and fresh produce where food companies can collaborate on tackling the big industry issues or share ideas.  Tulip–one of Britain’s leading food producing companies, supplying meat products to a diverse range of customers–also recently joined the campaign.