Greenyard Frozen helps create 80,000 meals for vulnerable people using speciality carrots that would otherwise have gone to waste

20 January 2020

  • Greenyard Frozen will divert enough surplus veg to create 80,000 meals for vulnerable people
  • They used food charity FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Funding to cover the costs of repackaging leftover specialty carrots, which are then sent out to charities like homeless hostels, older people’s lunch clubs and community centres.

A fruit and veg producer is reducing its food waste and helping vulnerable people across the UK by packaging up leftover purple carrots and sending them to food charity FareShare. The carrots will then be redistributed through FareShare’s network of frontline charities, including homeless hostels, older people’s lunch clubs and community centres.

“We’ve worked with Fare Share for many years whereby they’ve helped us to re-distribute excess packed stock from our business to those in need. But what was different about this campaign was that by using the Government grant, we were able to pack stock specifically for FareShare which was in bulk storage within our business. It was a real game-changer and has opened the door for us to increase our support to Fare Share in the future.”

Laura Dixon, Customer Service Manager, at Greenyard Frozen

The company realised that redundant quantities of carrots could be packaged up and used to feed vulnerable people. They set up a separate packaging production line for the leftover carrots – with FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund covering the additional processing and labour costs.

Defra has provided a grant of £1.9 million towards this fund, as part of their £15 million scheme launched in January to help redistribution organisations across England to help overcome barriers to getting food currently going to waste onto people’s plates.

The frozen purple carrots, which taste just like orange carrots, are then packed in plain bags before being sent to FareShare to be distributed to charities and community groups.

Frozen vegetables are extremely valuable to charities, as it means they can provide the people they support with a more varied and healthy menu, and can help with their meal planning. The carrots also come ready-chopped, which cuts down on prep time for busy charity cooks.

Until the 17th century carrots came in all sorts of colours, including yellow, white and purple. However, although heritage varieties such as the purple carrot are gaining popularity, most people think of carrots as being orange. FareShare worked with Greenyard Frozen to provide charities with ‘purple carrot factsheet’ to reassure people that they’re just as full of flavour and nutrients as the more common orange variety.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell, said: “WRAP estimates over 2 million tonnes of edible surplus food goes to waste each year within the UK supply chain alone – yet at the same time, over 8 million people struggle to put food on the table.

“By accessing FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund Greenyard Frozen are doing the right thing with their surplus veg – getting it onto the plates of people who need it.”

The £3 million FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund is open to new companies, as well as companies already working with FareShare that would like to redistribute additional surplus food. It can also be used to unlock harder to reach surplus food, such as food found further up the supply chain.

Companies could be eligible for up to £50,000 funding which can cover additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting, in building and implementing new processes, packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion.

Find out more about the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund.