The Grocer launches ‘Waste Not Want Not’ campaign

23 May 2016

23 May


Influential food and drink industry publication, The Grocer has launched a major campaign  to reduce “staggering levels” of food waste in the industry, and substantially increase the amount of surplus food that is redistributed to feed people, to 100,000 tonnes each year.

“There’s a huge amount of perfectly edible food and drink that is either incinerated or goes to landfill, and that cannot be right,” says Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer. “The food and drink industry is in a unique position to effect positive change. And it needs to redouble its efforts not only to reduce waste, in line with Courtauld 2025 targets, but to prioritise food redistribution wherever humanly possible.”

Huge potential to feed more vulnerable people

Hundreds of  retailers, manufacturers and processors already work with organisations like FareShare to redistribute good, in date surplus food and The Grocer’s campaign will reflect this by showcasing good practice across the industry, as well as calling for food businesses to redouble their efforts on redistribution and be more transparent on food waste.

Last year, FareShare redistributed enough surplus food to make 17.7 million meals for people in need, which frontline charities served up alongside life-changing support. “Yet only about 10,000 tonnes of surplus food is currently redistributed to charities each year, so there’s clearly huge potential to do more,” says FareShare CEO, Lindsay Boswell.

Level playing field for redistribution

The Grocer’s campaign also calls for the government to incentivise the redistribution of surplus food, so that it’s not cheaper to dispose of good food by other means, such as anaerobic digestion. FareShare has been advocating a level playing field for some time. “The ability to turn waste into energy is a wonderful thing, but the first priority for good, edible food should be feeding hungry people,” agrees Boswell.

In France, food businesses that redistribute surplus food to charities get a tax break. “That is a real game-changer,” says Boswell, as it “evens up the added cost of keeping food fit for human consumption and supplying it to the voluntary sector, which requires transport, logistics, management and time. There’s no reason it shouldn’t work here.”

Supporting the industry to change more lives

While some food businesses may be unsure about the types of surplus food they can redistribute or feel daunted by the process, FareShare’s dedicated food industry team can work in partnership with them to make it as easy and cost-effective as possible to redirect their surplus food to the people who need it most.

The Grocer says its Waste Not Want Not campaign will continue, “until we reach our target of doubling the amount of food redistributed to hungry people, encouraging, chivvying, inspiring, shaming, supporting and above all uniting the industry behind a campaign that will not only save billions of pounds, but help feed poor and hungry people too.”

Food and drink businesses are encouraged to get in touch with The Grocer to pledge support for the campaign, outline how they have reduced waste, or whistleblow about unnecessary waste. The campaign can also be supported on Twitter with the hashtag #wastenotwantnot

Working with FareShare

Find out more about how FareShare can support your business to redistribute good quality, surplus food to people in need, or contact our food team if you would like to discuss how we can work together, or want to promote the work you’re already doing with FareShare.