dash gleaning

Source: Dash

A group of Dash team members recently went ‘gleaning’ and saved more than a tonne of apples from an orchard in Sussex

I’ll admit to being spooked on Halloween a couple of weeks ago. But it wasn’t down to any ghouls or evil spirits – it was the pumpkins. Twenty-two million of them, to be precise. That’s how many pumpkins are wasted on average each year, either by being carved and not eaten, or simply being left over in shops and thrown away.

Halloween can be a lot of fun, but also a prime offender when it comes to food waste. Christmas, which is quickly coming up, is another. During this year’s festive period, food and drink brands should ensure they’re thinking carefully about their impact and how they can reduce waste.

Stocking up for Christmas means filling the office cupboards with festive snacks and drinks, or getting in the ingredients for a big team dinner. It’s a high point of the year for many teams, but being honest, there’s often a lot left over. Thankfully, there are simple yet effective solutions. You can use apps like Olio or Too Good To Go, or partner with a food redistribution network such as City Harvest, to ensure perfectly good food is distributed to where it can make a difference.

You could go even further and take your team straight ‘to source’ to better understand the whole concept of food waste. A group of our Dash team members recently went ‘gleaning’ and saved more than a tonne of apples from an orchard in Sussex, at a day event run by our food waste charity partner Feedback. The produce was then redistributed to food banks by FareShare.

There are plenty of other challenges facing those that want to see the UK cut back on food waste. Those apples the Dash team picked were left on the branch in the first place because of a worker shortage. Meanwhile, our government seems to have deprioritised tackling food waste – with yet another change of Defra secretary worsening the struggles our industry is having getting through to those in power.

For now, then, we need to focus on where we know we can have an impact. I’ve been hugely encouraged by the conversations around waste and sustainability I’ve had this year. The change compared with 2017, when Dash was launched, is enormous. This Christmas will be a chance for businesses to prove they can walk the walk.