Catch up on new initiatives and funding to reduce food waste

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In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the latest flurry of activity on food waste from the last few weeks.

Catch up on new initiatives and funding to reduce food waste

‘Step up the plate’ food waste pledge

Retailers, hospitality businesses, chefs, and social media influencers are joining together to pledge action to drive down food waste. Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Minister Therese Coffey were among the first to sign up to the pledge, alongside Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Nestle.

The pledge intends to drive action to reduce food waste, with initiatives to:

  • Set a target to halve food waste by 2030 (in line with Sustainable Development Goal 12.3);
  • Adopt the WRAP and IGD Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to measure and report food waste;
  • Embrace the ‘Food Conversation week of action’ planned for November 2019;
  • Use their voice and profile to empower and encourage citizens to reduce food waste; and
  • Change their habits as an individual to be a Food Waste Champion at work and at home.

Food waste funding awarded to four food redistribution organisations

This pledge, led by the new Food Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, is part of the wider government picture on food waste. Currently, around 55,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers a year. However, it is estimated that a further 100,000 tonnes of food, equivalent to 250 million meals, could be utilised in redistribution each year. This food is currently uneaten, and instead is used for energy from waste, anaerobic digestion for fuel or fertiliser, or animal feed.

When food is wasted, it also wastes the energy and resources used in producing, transporting, and packaging the food, and, if sent to landfill, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions from the rotting process. Earlier this year, the government launched a £15 million scheme to be used in tackling food waste. The first £4.2 million has now been awarded to four food redistribution organisations across England: FareShare, Company Shop Group, The Felix Project, and Food Works Sheffield. The funding will enable these companies to take more surplus food from manufacturers and retailers to stop it from going to waste. The Felix Project explain that the funding will allow them to increase the amount of surplus currently delivered to charities as well as prepare materials about how to prevent food waste being generated and the benefit in supplying surplus food for redistribution, which may result in more food being available.

Next round of funding available to help companies redistribute even more food

The next round of funding, focussed on improving infrastructure for companies to redistribute even more of the estimated 100,000 tonnes of edible food available that is currently wasted, is now open. There are two types of grant available:

  • Small scale grants (between £20,000 and £170,000) available to SMEs in England. These grants are open to both not-for-profits and commercial organisations (requiring a minimum of 10% match funding from not-for-profits, and minimum 50% match funding from commercial enterprises). Closing date 11th July 2019.
  • Large scale grants (between £200,000 and £1 million) available to non-commercial enterprises for capital expenditure only. This can include warehouse facilities, storage, refrigeration, loading equipment and so on. Match funding is required at a minimum of 10%. Closing date 1st July 2019.

How can ADAS assist your business manage surplus and reduce waste in your supply chain?

ADAS is ready to help, whether it be by locating surplus wherever it occurs in your business and finding outlets such as on-farm gleaning and redistribution, or engaging and educating your staff and stakeholders.   ADAS has the knowledge and breadth of expertise across agri-food supply chains and is a trusted partner across the range of product areas.  Click here for more information on how ADAS can support your business to reduce food waste.


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