Surplus food should go to people first

3 June 2014

Today The Times highlights the issue that thousands of tonnes of food is still being turned into energy when it could potentially be eaten by people in need. We really welcome the opportunity to shed light on this critical issue.

FareShare currently only redistributes around 1.5% of the surplus food we estimate is out there. We recognise that there are incredible benefits to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) which ensures that food waste is turned into energy and offers an environmentally sound solution. 


food waste hierarchy

However we need to ensure that as much edible food is going to people who need it most. This is particularly important at a time where 5.8 million people are living in deep poverty and are struggling to find it difficult to afford every day essentials such as food.

  • FareShare has 20 years experience working with the food industry to redirect food fit for human consumption to charities and community organisations across the UK
  • Last year, we provided food for 12 million meals, enabling over 1,290 frontline organisations to provide nutritious, balanced meals to vulnerable people.
  • FareShare is a proven solution for the food industry and is starting to become an integral part of the supply chain, working with manufacturers and retailers, such as TescoAsda, Sainsbury’s, Gerber and Nestlé amongst others.
  • These partnerships are testimony to the fact that the redistribution process works best when companies have systems in place that help to identify when surplus is occurring and can then maximise the use of food that might otherwise go to waste
  • We work to the highest industry standards ensuring full traceability and adherence to food safety legislation

We are calling on the food industry, manufacturers in particular, to work together with FareShare to promote the waste hierarchy and  ensure that food as a resource is used in the most appropriate way through its life cycle. If it cannot be sold, but is still edible, then it should go to people first. If not suitable for human consumption, then it should be considered for animal feed. Then and only then, when the food is unfit for these routes, AD can do its magic and turn the food into energy.

To make this happen, we want the whole of the food industry to follow the lead of our existing partners and engage with us. We also need the Government to make this easier for them by providing the same incentives which are in place for the AD technology, to ensure a system that benefits people and the environment.


Related News:

  • “Supermarkets must double the amount of unwanted food they hand out to Britain’s hungry to help to combat “immoral” levels of waste, a parliamentary inquiry has warned.” via @thetimes. Read our comment here.
  • Read our response to the House of Lords inquiry on Food Waste Prevention (6 April), in which we urge the Government to stick to its promise to follow the principles of the food waste hierarchy, ensuring that when surplus food arises, it is diverted to charities and used to feed people in need.


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