FareShare chief executive Lindsay Boswell talks us through the Feed People First campaign by FareShare and The Grocer:
Tell us about the Feed First campaign. What is it trying to achieve?
Feed People First is a campaign by FareShare and The Grocer calling for the public to sign a petition that could help deliver an extra 100,000 tonnes of good surplus food to charities across the country.
We have the capacity, we know more charities want us to help them - we just need the Government to help us access the food.
How much edible surplus food could be out there in the supply chain that isn’t reaching people?
Every year at least 270,000 tonnes* of good food is wasted in UK food production.
Why don’t businesses simply do the right thing and redistribute it?
We know it can be more expensive to redistribute good quality surplus to charities than it is to send it to animal feed or anaerobic digestion. Our campaign directly asks the UK Government to introduce a fund for food businesses to cover the costs incurred in getting food to charities.
But why shouldn’t businesses cover the costs of redistributing food surplus themselves?
FareShare understands food businesses wanting to do the right thing incur additional costs for things like transport, storage, harvesting and re-packing.
Thanks to many food businesses, FareShare is able to redistribute 5% of the available surplus food in the UK, and with that we help feed half a million people a week - just imagine what we could do with 100,000 tonnes. This is what France already does, and we know we can do it here too.
If we achieved this, UK charities could save £150m, savings which they could reinvest into services to support even more vulnerable people.
How could government funding help to address this? How much money would it cost?
FareShare is asking the Government to offset the costs of charitable food redistribution which could include re-packing, harvesting, transporting, storage and handling, so that 100,000 tonnes of food could be used for people in need.
What difference could this make to UK charities?
By doing this, UK charities could be saved £150m, savings which they could reinvest into their services and feed even more people in need.
The government has already rejected calls from the Efra select committee on food waste to look at this. What makes you think they’ll reconsider?
It’s completely wrong that we have a situation where it’s cheaper to send thousands of tonnes of good edible food to anaerobic digestion plants or to animal feed, when there are millions of people experiencing food insecurity and regularly skipping meals across the UK right now.
How can I help?
Food waste is something that no one wants, especially when there is a simple solution, so we urge everyone to sign the petition and help feed people first.