Waste not want not: to the circular economy and beyond - PKF Francis Clark
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Waste not want not: to the circular economy and beyond

Almost 50 business men and women attended the firm’s forth annual food and drink sector focused breakfast briefing this morning at (the lovely) Indidog Eatery in Falmouth.


As I blogged at the end of last week, the theme of this year’s event was “waste” in the food and drink sector. The event chair, our very own culinary charismatic Steve Ashworth, set out some of the statistics that made this an important issue, and some of the interventions and press coverage that make this a hot topic for businesses engaged in the sector.  Key statistics include:

  • 3 billion tonnes of food waste annually globally
  • Yet 820 million people did not have enough to eat in 2018
  • 10 million tonnes from the UK alone in 2015
  • Food waste in landfill produces methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide
  • 60% of food packaging is waste, 99% is made from carbon and is predicted it will account for 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Next up was Gavin Poole of Stephens Scown who talked us (briefly) through food and drink legislation history from the Assize of Bread and Ale (the first law in British history to regulate the production and sale of food) to current day and beyond.  The latter picking up on Single Use Plastics Act; Deposit Returns Scheme and the move towards producer pays legislation.

Gavin handed over to Olga Andrianova from Tevi, who touched on our changing attitude towards food, before explaining the support that Tevi offer and specifically how they could help businesses engaged in food and drink sector move towards a circular economy model.  She gave a couple of case studies from the 30 or so food and drink businesses they had interacted with to date before opening the discussion on the issues facing small and medium sized entities (SMEs) as they try and reduce waste in their production processes with the opportunities that arise.

Next up was Ben from DCW and Garry from Langage AD , who spoke about the changing environment for the collection of recyclable and non-recyclable waste from the food and drink sector.  A very interesting and informative piece of their presentation was on the closed loop system at Langage Farm and specifically their anaerobic digestion plant.  This element of the presentation, along with others, touched on the complexities of plastic usage and waste management.

Richard Wadman and Richard Tyler from PKF Francis Clark did the final two presentations of the morning.  The former signposted WRAP as a source of guidance for businesses trying to cut waste and flagged up a couple of potential sources of grant funding. The latter talking about research and development (R&D) tax credits with examples of claims we have assisted with – the basic message being if you think you have been engaged in innovation, then please speak to us as we can explain whether the work done may qualify and how, and what can be claimed.

Steve Ashworth rounded off the event with a quick recap of issues covered.

Thank you

As always, before finishing a blog on a PKF Francis Clark event, I would like to thank all those who work to make these events happen.  In this case this list includes:  Linda, Devon, Ruth, Daisy and Charlie.

I would also like to thank the presenters for their informed and engaging presentations and our venue hosts, Simon and Vanessa and the team at Indidog.  Thank you.

By Andrew James

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