Evening Standard launches food waste campaign

20 September 2016

20 September 2016


The London Evening Standard  has launched a major campaign on food waste and food poverty, to address what it calls “a scandal” that must be put right. “The mismatch between food insecurity on the one hand and wasted food on the other is a disgrace that [the Evening Standard] is attempting to remedy,” says the newspaper. To launch the campaign, the Evening Standard has published details of how much edible surplus food the top 10 supermarkets currently redistribute to people in need.

Many of the leading retailers, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and The Co-operative, already work with FareShare to redistribute good, in date surplus food to frontline charities and community groups that support vulnerable people. Last year, FareShare redistributed more food than ever before, enough for charities to serve up 18.3 million meals for people in need, alongside life-changing support and services.

Yet figures from WRAP suggest that at least 270,000 tonnes of surplus food could be redistributed each year to feed people in need, so there is the potential to do much more.

Commenting in the newspaper, FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “In the last three years the amount of food supermarkets have donated to us has doubled. But the amounts given are still relatively tiny. The Standard’s call for transparency is incredibly timely — it is the key to ensuring that supermarkets can be held accountable and their claims taken seriously.”

‘Back of store’ surplus

While the spotlight is often on the supermarkets, where food waste is most visible, the majority of food waste in the supply chain actually occurs at the manufacturing, processing or distribution stages.

FareShare’s main focus is on accessing surplus food from these sources, because there is often still plenty of life left on this food and large volumes of surplus at each site, making it an efficient way to access and redistribute large volumes of food on a national scale.

Additionally, FareShare has partnered with Tesco on a UK-wide programme to redistribute store level surplus food that is unsold at the end of the day, to local charities and community groups. The scheme is currently being rolled out to all Tesco stores with the aim of ensuring that 100% of their store level surplus food is redistributed to people in need by the end of 2017. The initiative has already connected more than 600 Tesco stores with over 2,200 charities and community groups, providing in excess of 1 million meals from food that might otherwise have gone to waste.

We welcome and support the efforts of other organisations to reduce food waste in the supply chain, at store level and from households. FareShare is actively engaging with the Felix Project through our store level surplus programme as it rolls out across London, distributing food to charities which both we and they have identified, so that we complement rather than duplicate each other’s work.

Where appropriate, we signpost to other organisations that redistribute surplus from different sources, including FoodCycle, OLIO, Plan Zheroes and Too Good To Go, so that we can ensure that no good food goes to waste.

Join the fight against food waste

Join us in the fight against food waste today – by donating, volunteering or giving food – to help us get good, surplus food to the people who need it most.