Food surplus charity FareShare has launched a £3m fund to help companies divert edible waste to good causes.
The fund will be used to offset the additional costs faced by companies seeking to redistribute their edible surplus food to charities and community groups.
FareShare said it represented a major win for The Grocer’s Waste Not Want Not Campaign, with £1.9m coming from the first tranche of £15m funding from Defra, announced by Michael Gove in October, to tackle the issue of the cost of redistributing waste.
In May, FareShare was one of four recipients of the first £4m of the £15m pot, which came after months of campaigning by The Grocer.
The £3m fund will be open to new companies, as well as companies already working with FareShare that are seeking to redistribute additional surplus food items.
The charity said it would be used to unlock harder to reach surplus food, or surplus food further up the supply chain.
It plans to give companies up to £50,000 worth of funding to cover the additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting edible surplus food, or in building, implementing and managing new processes.
The money will also be available to cover packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion.
The fund is open to growers, farmers, producers, pack houses, processors, co-packers, importers, wholesalers and retailers across the UK working with brand or own-brand product, although it is not open to restaurants with surplus, previously cooked.
However, it is open to food service suppliers, or restaurant chains seeking to redistribute surplus raw materials or ready to eat food.
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell said: “With government set to consult on mandatory food waste reporting, businesses are now facing even more scrutiny when it comes to food waste.
“This fund will be instrumental in making sure companies who want to do the right thing with their surplus can quickly and safely divert it to frontline charities, in a way that’s cost effective.
“The FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund enables us to step up the support we can offer the food industry, and we’re keen to hear from businesses who are looking to develop individual solutions to surplus found higher up the food chain, or to surplus that’s previously been seen as ‘harder to reach’.
“It’s a win-win for industry - tackling the issue of food waste at the same time as making a real and measurable impact in the communities they operate within, putting good food on the plates of people who need it.”