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FareShare and the British Poultry Council Host Open Day for Poultry Industry

FareShare and British poultry Council host open day for poultry industry

11 May 2018

Yesterday, FareShare and the British Poultry Council (BPC) hosted an open day at FareShare’s Yorkshire Regional Centre for poultry manufacturers to see charity redistribution in action. Major poultry companies including Avara Foods, Moy Park and 2 Sisters were all in attendance.

“Responsible businesses recognise their role in society. What we do and our reputations are inextricably linked. As a business, we could not ignore it and wanted to do something positive and tangible that would help people in our local communities. We knew that providing FareShare with a consistent supply of protein was essential.”

Andy Dawkins, CEO of Avara Foods

The BPC have set their members the challenge of increasing the volume of fresh poultry received by FareShare from 3.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes a week, to meet the growing demand for nutritious protein by the thousands of frontline charities FareShare supports across the UK.

Speaking on the day, Richard Griffiths, Chairman of the BPC said:

“As an industry we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone has access to good quality nutritious food. By working with FareShare, our members can make sure that people experiencing food poverty can get a regular supply of good quality protein and we want to do everything we can to meet our target.”

Andy Dawkins, CEO of Avara Foods (a joint venture between Faccenda and Cargill) was guest speaker and talked to the other businesses in the room about the results and impact of Avara’s partnership with FareShare, which began three years ago in 2015.

Andy said: “Everywhere you turn you can see evidence of food poverty; you don’t have to look very hard. Responsible businesses recognise their role in society. What we do and our reputations are inextricably linked. As a business, we could not ignore it and wanted to do something positive and tangible that would help people in our local communities. We knew that providing FareShare with a consistent supply of protein was essential. And that’s what we did and continue to do.”

Andy highlighted that for him, the major benefit that Avara Foods has seen from the FareShare partnership, has been the levels of staff engagement and motivation across teams at their manufacturing site in Telford.

“For me it’s about the hidden value of colleague engagement. The most important thing is that engaged and motivated teams do fantastic things!”

Guest speakers from two local charities that receive food from FareShare Yorkshire also explained to the group why being able to access good quality food through FareShare is so important to their operation.

First up was Peter Mulrooney from Barnsley Churches Drop-In Project who runs a drop-in centre three times a week for people in the local area who are experiencing homelessness and substance abuse.

Peter explained how they are the only charity of their kind remaining in the area as lots of other charities have had to close. When asked how important receiving food from FareShare is to him and his operation, he said:

“Without FareShare we couldn’t exist in the way we do now, we couldn’t offer hot meals for 140 people. It would be impossible. We provide a hot meal three times a week plus extra sandwiches for people to take away, so six meals in total. That’s a lot for them. Without this, they wouldn’t be able to go out and buy food, and there is nowhere else for them to go, so some of them would die. It’s as simple as that.”

Alison Skyes who runs the local Salvation Army also spoke to the group about the support they give to families in Goldthorpe, an area of high deprivation. “We are currently working with 200 families and we help them with love and care”, says Alison “We provide food parcels, cooking classes and holiday hunger schemes providing a meal from the whole family in the school holidays.”

The Salvation Army supports families who all need help due to lots of different circumstances – from single parent families, to low income families, to families who never expected to need help. “A lovely new family came to me recently” says Alison “the husband was self-employed and just had a bad accident. He now can’t work and run his business, so they need our help. They said the last thing they ever expected was to need food parcels.”

Alison reiterated the importance of being able to access good quality, nutritious food from FareShare to the group:

“Thanks to FareShare I spend very little on food. It just makes so much difference and enables our families to have the nice food they deserve. It’s not just about the food; it’s the time, the conversation, feeling like someone is bothered.”

FareShare Commercial Manager, Rowen West-Henzell rounded off the day by saying “It is clear from everything we have seen today and the two great charities that gave their perspective, that having regular access to high quality protein is vitally important for the frontline organisations that FareShare supports. Poultry is not only nutritious, but versatile for the cooks at these projects and provides a vital source of protein that their beneficiaries often go without. We are excited to be working closely with the BPC and their members to increase the amount of poultry our network receives.”

If you’re a food company and would like to work with FareShare to get your surplus food to people in need, please get in touch foodoffers@fareshare.org.uk