A big win on waste

Sir, We at City Harvest, applaud The Grocer’s initiative to push for financial support for food redistribution (’How to turn food waste into gold, 4 November, p26).

City Harvest collects food surplus and distributes it without charge to organisations across London that feed the vulnerable. There are many worthy exceptions, but we observe all too often the pragmatic decision to limit costs by choosing less expensive options for food surplus than redistribution.

UK food poverty would be eliminated if all suitable food surplus were redistributed. As well as helping the poor, this would bring long-term benefits to the UK economy: reduced social care costs, reduced healthcare costs, greater tax revenues from higher employment, better educated children and better social cohesion. It doesn’t take much thought to conclude that the limited financial support necessary to achieve this would be a big win.

Laura Winningham, CEO of City Harvest

● ‘Are you #seriousaboutsurplus? Then sign our petition to get more edible surplus food to charity

Frozen is the answer

Sir, If we’re really getting serious about surplus, then it’s about time we stop giving the cold shoulder to the most obvious solution to the waging war on food waste - frozen food. There are significant nutritional, economical and time-saving attributes to frozen food.

Frozen food is by far the easiest solution to the global waste issue. A 2016 report published by the BFFF showed that frozen food not only reduces waste in the supply chain by reusing the waste or turning it into energy, it also reduces waste in the kitchen. The report showed using frozen food in a professional kitchen could cut food wastage by 66%, and since frozen food keeps for 12-18 months, it means it’s unlikely to ever end up as household waste.

In order to tackle the issue of food wastage, it’s vital that a commitment is made to shift consumer-buying habits to ensure that frozen food is recognised as not just the thrifty option, but also a great-tasting solution.

William Burton, sales director, Ardo UK

Tetley squash: nice NPD

Sir, Tetley moving into squash is an interesting move for an established tea brand, moving into an equally competitive soft drinks arena (‘Tetley moves into squash with functional range,’ thegrocer.co.uk, 14 October). At face value it looks a good idea, especially with the very current added ‘functional’ element, and I guess the squash angle aligns with the adding water element. But I am not so sure that the packaging carries the same ‘current’ feel as the concept? In the end it’ll all depend on how much cut-through and trial it can generate, but well done Tetley for lateral innovation!

Brian George via thegrocer.co.uk