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The Co-operative Food launches Scottish FareShare commitment

13 November 2015

Co-op in Scotland

Friday 13 November 2015

The Co-operative Food in Scotland today (13 November) officially launched its commitment to donate its warehouse depot surplus food to FareShare.

The convenience retailer has agreed to divert surplus food from its distribution centre at Newhouse, Edinburgh, which until now has gone to aerobic digestion energy plants, to FareShare to pass on to charities and community groups which transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people.

Following a successful trial in England, the mutual is rolling out the programme which will see it supplying a range of chilled food items such as yoghurt, meat, fruit, vegetables and ready meals to the charity.

Andy Baird, Depot Operations Manager at Newhouse, said: “This project has the capacity to improve the variety and nutritional value of the food redistributed by the Co-op, and to significantly increase the number of people that FareShare can support. In addition to the huge human benefit there are significant positive environmental impacts as all of this food will be diverted from anaerobic digestion back into the food chain, feeding people first as was intended.”

“Only a tiny percentage of total food waste – around 1.3 per cent – comes from the grocery retail industry, but we are committed to reducing this.  We are very grateful to all the suppliers that have agreed to support this initiative.”

Gillian Kynoch, Head of FareShare Scotland, said:  “We’re really excited to be working with The Co-operative on this project and we commend them for rolling it out to Scotland. By working with their suppliers and staff, the Co-op has demonstrated real commitment to preventing food waste in the long term and to providing edible surplus food to projects supporting vulnerable people across the country.”

Supported by the Scottish Government, FareShare has provided nearly three million meals over the last 18 months, working with 323 different charities and community groups, to support vulnerable and marginalised people across Scotland.

Cyrenians run the FareShare Regional Centre for Central and South East Scotland as part of their Good Food Programme – a social enterprise that supports people through access to food, improves their health and wellbeing, and develops skills and confidence around cooking. This in turn allows them to move towards a more settled lifestyle. The Centre currently distributes seven tonnes of food each week to over 80 member organisations across the region.

Caption – To mark the official launch of the Co-op’s commitment to donate surplus food to FareShare Andrew Johnson, left, and Nathan Graham, right, from the Co-op’s Distribution Centre at Newhouse, lend a hand to Tony Steal, centre, who works at  the FareShare Depot in Jane Street, Edinburgh.