£500,000 fund opens to increase surplus food redistribution in England

31st January 2018

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey outlined the criteria of the Food Waste Reduction Fund at today’s Courtauld Commitment 2025 Signatory Summit, held in London.

Expressions of Interest are now welcome to the £500,000 fund provided by Defra, and administered by sustainability experts WRAP, to support projects led by Not-for-Profit organisations to help increase redistribution of surplus food from food businesses to people in need, in England.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said, “I was delighted to speak at WRAP’s conference today and announce the opening of the Food Waste Reduction Fund.

“I look forward to the fund receiving bids from charities to redistribute surplus food.”

The fund is open to Not-For-Profit organisations who supply surplus food from food businesses - either directly to those in need, or to other organisations who do the same. 

Peter Maddox, Director WRAP, said, “This fund will make a huge difference to many organisations in England, and those who use their services. We’re particularly looking for new routes and fresh partnerships to get more surplus food to people in need. I’m keen to see expressions of interest that will increase redistribution from food manufacturers and businesses not already redistributing food, or which can significantly improve and increase existing redistribution chains. We want this fund to help make a step-change in the amount of surplus food that is redistributed to people.”

Funding will be provided for projects to help overcome barriers to increasing redistribution. Projects could cover areas such as:

  • Training for the people involved in supplying and distributing surplus food – on IT and food safety skills, for example;
  • Infrastructure such as packing and labelling facilities, freezer capacity or refrigerated vehicles to enable more types of food or larger quantities to be redistributed;
  • Facilitation to form collaborative partnerships and help Not-For-Profits join up with appropriate partners; and
  • Communication and technology to facilitate logistics between donor and recipient organisations.

Funding will be awarded with the aim of making a significant increase to the amount of food redistributed, as cost-effectively as possible, and WRAP expects grants to range from between £20,000 and £75,000.

Process and deadline

  • Expressions of Interest are welcome until 30 March 2018, and will be reviewed by WRAP to identify those suitable to proceed to full application – whom WRAP will contact.
  • Full applications must be submitted by 11 May 2018 and will be assessed by WRAP and Defra before grants are awarded.
  • Once a project completes it will report its impacts to WRAP during 2019.
  • All details can be downloaded 


Notes to editor

  • Full details of the process for making an expression of interest can be found on the WRAP website.
  • WRAP estimates that over a 10-year period, redistribution could be increased by an extra 270 million meals a year UK-wide (a four-fold rise). In recent years, the amount redistributed by retailers has increased significantly, therefore a priority for this Fund is to help Not-For-Profits increase redistribution from food manufacturers. 
  • First established in 2000, WRAP is a not for profit organisation which works with governments, businesses and citizens to create a world in which we source and use resources sustainably.
  • Our impact spans the entire life-cycle of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the products we buy, from production to consumption and beyond.