Response to the Food Waste Prevention Report

Following the House of Lords inquiry on Food Waste Prevention, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, FareShare, is calling on the Government to make it easier for food business to divert their surplus food to charities.

FareShare is urging the Government to stick to its promise to follow the principles of the food waste hierarchy (right), ensuring that when surplus food arises, it is diverted to charities and used to feed people in need.

food waste hierarchy

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare CEO, said: “Every month FareShare redistributes enough food for a million meals yet 95% of surplus food is wasted in the UK. With 13 million people living in poverty in the UK, it’s just plain wrong that good food is going to waste.”

Currently, 3.4 million tonnes of food is wasted every year by the food industry in the UK, before it even reaches people’s shopping baskets. FareShare believes as much as 10% of that waste is fit for human consumption, enough for 800 million meals. Instead of being used to feed people, this surplus food is sent to landfill, fed to animals or turned into energy through anaerobic digestion.

Lindsay Boswell continues: “Being able to turn food waste into energy is fantastic, but while people are going hungry, edible food shouldn’t be used to feed animals or create energy.

Currently, there are a number of Government incentives to turn food into energy, but these same incentives do not exist for feeding people. It just doesn’t make sense.”

The term surplus applies to any food that does not have a commercial outlet but is within date and can still be consumed. It has become surplus for various reasons including overproduction, errors in forecasting, incorrect labelling and damaged packaging.

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