Redistribution fund launched to reduce UK food waste

Redistribution fund launched to reduce UK food waste
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ wk1003mike

The UK Government is launching a £5 million funding round aimed at food redistribution organisations to tackle food waste.

This funding round is the first part of a £15 million scheme announced last year by Environmental Secretary Michael Gove to address surplus food from retail and manufacturing.

Currently around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year.

It is estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food – equating to 250 million meals a year – is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, or animal feed.

“It is absolutely right that we end the scandal of food waste and this substantial funding will help that happen,” said Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey.

“We want to build on the great work already being done by businesses, charities and volunteers. Perfectly good food should be on people’s plates and not unnecessarily discarded.”

The fund is open to organisations that receive surplus food to distribute to those who have a need in England. Applicants will need to show how they will help food businesses reduce their surplus in the long term.

Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP, said: “We welcome the setting up of this fund, which will help to accelerate the redistribution of surplus food from retailers and food manufacturers to people who can benefit from it.

“It builds on the great work in this area in recent years which has seen millions of meals’ worth of food saved from waste, and which has benefited both society and the environment. It also supports the ambitions of Courtauld 2025 and the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap launched last year.”

The grant closes on the 20 February 2019.