Lords EU Committee to hear from DEFRA and National Farmers Union

21 October 2013

The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries , Environment and Energy will this week take evidence from officials from Defra and the National Farmers Union (NFU) on the EU’s contribution to food waste prevention

In the week that Tesco announced it had wasted nearly 30,000 tonnes of food in the first six months of the year, the Committee will hold two evidence sessions on Wednesday 23 October in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. The effect of the relationships between retailers, such as Tesco, and food producers will be amongst the issues to be explored.

Giving evidence first, from 10.45 am, will be Defra officials in the directorate of Resource, Atmosphere and Sustainability.  They are: Colin Church, Director; Stephen Elderkin, Deputy Director; and Laura Denison, Head of Food Waste and Carrier Bag Policy.
They will be followed at 11.45 am with evidence from Anna Simpson, Environment Policy Advisor at the NFU and Paul Simmonds, Member of the NFU Horticulture Board.

The Defra witnesses will be asked to explain the government’s position that the European Commission’s target to halve food waste by 2020 is unrealistic. They will also be questioned on evidence suggesting that retailer demand for standardised fruit and vegetables is leading to overproduction and waste.

The NFU witnesses will be asked to expand on their assertion that retailer behaviour, including contracts to produce more food than required, leads to food waste.

The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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