Approved Food, the UK’s largest online discount food retailer of surplus food and drink, is joining forces with DEFRA’s food waste champion, celebrity chefs and restauranteurs to pledge to end food waste for good.

MD Andy Needham and Brand Ambassador Jonathan Straight are heading to London for Step Up To The Plate, a national conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum hosted by Ben Elliott, DEFRA’s food waste champion, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and Tristram Stuart, founder of Feedback and Toast Ales.

A key element of the event, on May 13th, involves attendees signing a pledge to reduce food waste through committing to inspire action and change their own shopping habits.

Describing food waste as ‘an environmental, moral and financial scandal’, DEFRA estimates that if global food waste were a country, it would be the third biggest producer of greenhouse gases behind China and the US. The national waste prevention body WRAP, meanwhile, estimates British families discard £70 of food every month, amounting to seven million tonnes every year.

Approved Food campaigns for better education about best before dates on food labels, which it says leads to confusion over what is safe to eat and ultimately results in families throwing away perfectly edible food. The company specialises in selling short-dated food and drink, along with items in slightly damaged packaging.

“As a business we are always striving to do more to tackle waste reduction and it is encouraging to see other businesses and individuals taking the same approach. Step Up To The Plate is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people and businesses, to share ideas on what can be done to combat the issue of food waste.”

Jonathan added: “Having DEFRA behind the campaign to stop food waste, as well as getting industry leaders and influencers involved, will definitely have a positive impact on raising awareness and getting brands to address where they can reduce or eliminate waste within their companies. While awareness is a key part of the fight around food waste, we need to address what actions can be taken. Getting attendees to sign the pledge is a really positive step and will ensure those who can make a difference are actively doing so.”

The event will attract leaders from the food industry, environmental non-governmental organisations, international food waste influencers, celebrity chefs and restauranteurs. Keynote speakers include British Antarctic survey climate scientist Dr Emily Shuckburgh, CEO of Nestle UK and Ireland Stefano Agostini and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Discussion panels – on the themes of Collaborate and Donate and Motivate and Educate – will see industry experts discussing the key methods and solutions to the food waste crisis. The day will be rounded off with an exclusive viewing of the upcoming exhibition, curated by Catherine Flood, FOOD: Bigger Than the Plate that opens to the public at the V&A on May 18th.