The business case for reducing food waste

Produce World carrots and parsnips donated to FareShare

7 March 2017

For each £1.00 invested in reducing food waste loss and reduction systems the company return on investment is £14.00, says The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste report by Champions 12.3, a consortium of executives from governments, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, farmer groups and civil society from around the world, dedicated to accelerating progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.3 by 2030.

Responding to the report, which was published on 7 March, FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell says:  “The report findings clearly demonstrate the financial benefits companies operating in the food industry can make by investing in food waste reduction methods. Seeing £14.00 realised for every £1.00 proactively invested in managing food waste processes clearly makes good financial sense.

FareShare’s work also makes good financial sense for charity and community groups. Over the last 12 months FareShare has redistributed over 12,000 tonnes of surplus food, enough for almost 26 million meals, to charity partners saving them approximately £22 million per year. The impact of enabling charities to then refocus their budgets on providing additional services and activities means that it’s not just food businesses who benefit from addressing food waste.

Average financial cost-benefit ratio for food businesses published by The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste report“Redistributing surplus food to people in need is not FareShare’s only aim; we also work directly with companies to help them plan, anticipate surplus and support them in taking proactive steps towards greater efficiency and waste reduction. Our publication the 'FareShare Food Efficiency Framework' sets out the key steps companies can implement into standard operational procedures to reduce food waste, however, occasionally even in the best managed production lines there will be surplus and FareShare aims to make this available to people in need.”

“So the evidence is clear: when you add the business case for proactively managing food waste with the environmental and social benefits it is not just business that benefits, but our wider society too. Both consumers and employees value companies who do the right thing with food.  When 8.4 million people in the UK live in ‘deep poverty’ the priority for the food and drink industry must be that food which cannot be sold is consumed by people in need.”