Sharon White SOFEA

JLP Chairman Sharon White visited a warehouse run by FareShare distribution partner Sofea in Didcot. Source: JLP

Waitrose has pledged to continue its partnership with FareShare, as it marks five years of working with the the food redistribution charity.

Waitrose has donated over 18 million meals to more than 10,500 charities and community groups since it began working with FareShare in 2017.

That includes the equivalent of 250,000 meals redistributed as a result of a £100,000 donation via its Farm to Family programme, which launched in July. The programme matches the charity with Waitrose suppliers Primafruit, Produce World and Dovecote, who provide fresh fruit & vegetables.

The retailer said the total amount of food it donated to FareShare had increased year on year since 2020, with the build-up to Christmas 2022 seeing more than 130 tonnes of surplus diverted, equivalent to 90,000 meals.

The John Lewis Partnership also provides funding for FareShare’s warehouse and forklift training programmes at the charity’s Leeds warehouse, under a programme started in 2018.

“Since we began our vital working relationship with FareShare, we have worked together to divert food, donate funds and share skills with those who need it, across the country,” said Lindsey Crompton, social impact and health lead at the John Lewis Partnership.

“We want to help ease the pressure for those who are feeling the pinch and might be struggling to feed themselves and their families.”

Waitrose is backing FareShare’s Manufacturing Alliance, part of King Charles’ Coronation Food Project, which launched in November. Under the scheme – which also involves major manufacturers, along with all of the traditional big four supermarkets, M&S, Aldi and Lidl – companies will work to together to produce thousands of tonnes of additional food to be donated, rather than simply just donate their excess produce.

“We’re pleased to continue working closely with Waitrose to ensure no good food goes to waste, while so many people face hunger this Christmas,” said Claire Kerrin, FareShare commercial manager. 

“The food Waitrose redistributes makes a huge difference to the charities and community groups we support, who are working tirelessly to feed people in their community this winter.”