Person taking a green apple from a supermarket shelf

Surplus Food Redistribution Resource Hub

All the information you need to help increase the redistribution of surplus food, in one place.

Building on our existing and ongoing support to UK food and drink, WRAP is now in close discussion with businesses, redistribution organisations and other key players in the sector to find new ways to significantly increase surplus food redistribution at this critical time.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, significant changes to food production, supply and consumption have already taken place, and are likely to continue. This turbulent time creates new opportunities, and some significant new barriers, to the redistribution of surplus food.

On this page, which we will updated regularly, WRAP will provide you with the critical information that you need to help make informed decisions about how we can all help to redistribute surplus food to those in most need. All the WRAP guidance listed here has been developed in partnership with food businesses and redistribution organisations, working collectively through Courtauld Commitment 2025 working groups.

How we can help you

Our main activities are: providing guidance, delivering new emergency grant funding, collecting and coordinating intelligence in the sector with other organisations, convening the Courtauld 2025 Redistribution Working Group, and providing connections and contacts of redistribution organisations to food businesses.

Contact the WRAP team here.

Key guidance

WRAP, the Food Standards Agency and Defra have released new labelling guidance for surplus food to advise on how long after the ‘Best Before’ date different foods can be expected to be suitable for redistribution.

To help establish new partnerships between food businesses and redistribution organisations, use our Framework for Effective Redistribution Partnerships.

For freezing products the British Frozen Food Federation has developed implementation guidance that can be used alongside this.

Zero Waste Scotland has launched an online matchmaking service aimed at rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted, by connecting Scottish suppliers with surplus produce and organisations that will benefit from it. The service was created in response to disruptions felt right across the supply chain due to the coronavirus situation and is intended as a help to manage previously unforeseen gluts, where no other solution is in place. You can email Zero Waste Scotland or call 01786 433930 (9am – 5pm).

Company Shop have collated examples into a Surplus Manual, which goes into depth about categories of products, reasons for surplus, and working with Company Shop.

Redistribution organisations

If you are a food business with a large volume (multiple pallets) of surplus to redistribute, email WRAP and we can help connect you with redistribution organisations.

Food businesses of all types can use the recently-updated Food Surplus Network to identify redistribution organisations who can help their type of business and that work in their geographic area.

The Food Standards Agency has hygiene and allergy advice for individuals and groups preparing meals to share in their community.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association has issued redistribution guidance.

The following organisations can redistribute large volumes of surplus food:

Not-for-profit redistribution organisations: Bread and Butter Thing / City Harvest  / Community Shop / FareShare / His Church / Plan Zheroes / The Real Junk Food Project / The Trussell Trust / UK Harvest 

Not-for-profit redistribution platforms: FruPro / Neighbourly / Olio Waste Knot

Commercial: Approved FoodCompany Shop Too Good To Go

Hospitality and food service: British Beer and Pub Association / Chartered Institute of Environmental Health / Sustainable Restaurant Association / UKHospitality

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

Defra is making available £4.85m of new funding through the Resource Action Fund, administered by WRAP. The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant aims to assist surplus food redistributors in overcoming challenges that they are currently facing in obtaining surplus food from food businesses (such as retailers and food manufacturers) and distributing this to people in need or those considered vulnerable.

So far, £3.1m of emergency funding has been awarded, in addition to £3.2m of grant funding awarded at the start of 2020.

Related resources

  • GUIDE

    Surplus food redistribution: WRAP's work

    We work with retailers and manufacturers, logistics and redistribution organisations, together with industry bodies, to identify ways of increasing the beneficial use of surplus food.

    9 January 2017

    4 files

  • GUIDE

    Surplus Food Redistribution Working Group

    Seeks to address the challenge of increasing the amounts of food surplus redistributed, through sharing best practice, identifying barriers and opportunities, overseeing the development of relevant new resources and research and approaches to monitoring progress.

    10 January 2017

  • GUIDE

    Surplus food redistribution labelling guidance

    This summary information produced by WRAP, the Food Standards Agency and Defra covers date labelling and storage instruction requirements for surplus food, in order for it to be safely redistributed. The aim is to increase the amount of food made available by food businesses for redistribution and accepted by recipient organisations.

    21 April 2020

  • REPORT

    Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015 to 2018

    Updated figures for surplus food redistribution via charities and commercial outlets from retail, manufacturing and the hospitality & food service sector for the three year period 2015-2018.

    16 July 2018

    4 files