Chocolatiers may face supply chain challenges in waste battle

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Confectionery Easter Easter egg

Confectioners are succeeding in looking beyond the lucrative Easter period to cut down on their packaging use, though the industry may yet have to commit to future waste reductions across the supply chain, says one organisation.

While encouraged by reductions in primary packaging for sweets and chocolate, the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a government-backed programme to ensure the UK meets EU waste requirements, suggests new voluntary commitments are being considered for suppliers.

The potential new strategies that could kick off in 2010 when the programme’s current Courtauld Commitment finishes, could target further material savings on the factory floor as well as homes, according to the WRAP.

Easter campaigns

Multinational confectioners such as Cadbury and Mars have been actively playing up their commitments to ensuring less packaging in their Easter egg and chocolate products sold this April throughout the UK.

The claims came as a recent consumer poll from the Advisory Committee on Packaging found some 59 per cent of UK adults believed Easter eggs are over-packaged.

Despite the findings, Charlotte Henderson, retail initiative manager for WRAP, told that the group believes confectionery manufacturers have made significant advances since signing up to its Courtauld Commitment in 2007.

WRAP says the voluntary commitment is open to all food manufacturers and targets providing innovative new packaging formats and absolute reductions in left over containers by March 2010

The next generation​.

Henderson said that although these commitments were seemingly baring fruit for the confectionery industry’s sustainability ambitions in 2009, a new range of goals designed to cut down on waste in the production cycle could be outlined soon.

In devising new industry measures for retail chains and manufacturers, WRAP says it has begun to look at wider issues of food and material waste across the supply chain.

We will look at what potential there is for cost and environment benefits in the supply chain, which could be part of any potential scheme,”​ she stated.

In encouraging confectioners to move forward with attempts at more environmentally friendly packaging, Henderson said initiatives like supplying eggs simply in foil had generated a number of benefits for retailers and manufacturers.

Food waste

Some organisations committed to working with businesses on waste reduction have previously suggested that completely removing packaging from certain products can sometimes be counter productive by creating more food waste from damaged goods.

However, Henderson claimed that developments in secondary packaging had ensured that products remained protected alongside reducing product weight to streamline distribution of the products as well.

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