27 March 2020
Asian-inspired food and restaurant brand itsu is reducing its food waste and helping vulnerable people across the UK by packaging up its frozen gyozas, miso salmon meal’kits and seaweed thins and sending them to FareShare. The dumplings and snacks are then redistributed through FareShare’s network of frontline charities, including homeless hostels, older people’s lunch clubs and community centres.
“Working with FareShare has massively reduced our food waste, where we would have to dispose of extra unsold stock, we’ve been able to share it with charities”
Overall, itsu have diverted 4.6 tonnes of frozen gyozas to help create almost 11,000 meals for vulnerable people.
Last year, itsu realised that, by taking the short-dated gyozas that could no longer be sent to retailers, as well as stock from discontinued product lines, and sending it FareShare, they could avoid wasting food that was still perfectly good to eat. They used the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund to cover the costs of transporting the surplus snacks and gyozas to FareShare’s warehouses.
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.
FareShare CEO, Lindsay Boswell, said: “These restaurant quality gyozas would cost three to four pounds to buy, so they’re a real treat for the charities we supply. They only take a few minutes to prepare, can be eaten as a snack or as part of a main meal, and our charity chefs have been busily swapping ideas on how to make the most of them. We’re so grateful for itsu’s support.”
Sarah West, National Accounts Executive at itsu, said: “Working with FareShare has massively reduced our food waste, where we would have to dispose of extra unsold stock, we’ve been able to share it with charities, which is great because we are reducing our waste as well as giving to people in need.
This will make a massive change in our business in the long term as we will now use FareShare for a solution in the future for all of our surplus stock to reduce our waste and therefore increase our sustainability.”