Our annual UK Surplus Food Redistribution data indicates solid progress in 2022 with approximately 170,000 tonnes of surplus food being received by redistribution organisations, equating to 400 million meals with a value of more than £590 million.
Preventing food waste at source should always be the priority, however redistributing surplus food is one way that businesses can reduce the amount of food that ends up as waste and contribute to achieving The Courtauld Commitment 2030 food waste target.
WRAP has previously reported on the progress in increasing surplus food redistribution between 2015 and 2021.
The results over the years have shown that the amount of surplus food being redistributed in the UK is steadily increasing and 2022 continues that trend.
This year’s update clearly shows the outcome of the continued hard work from all involved in the day-to-day redistribution of surplus food, underpinned by grants such as those made available from the Resource Action Fund.
Total redistributed food has increased by around 29,000 tonnes (27%) compared to 2021, equivalent to 70 million more meals redistributed in the last year*.
More food redistributed across all food storage types, with chilled and frozen foods seeing the highest growth across the last year at 34% and 20% respectively**.
Increased refrigeration and freezing capacity enables charities to redistribute a wider range of foods from supermarkets, manufacturers and farms.
* based on data from 9 respondents who submitted tonnage data in both 2021 and 2022.
** based on data from 7 respondents who submitted tonnage data between 2019 and 2022.
Catherine David, Director of Behaviour Change and Business Programmes at WRAP, said:
“Surplus food redistribution is a continued success story, with increased items being directed to those who need them. Optimising refrigeration and freezing facilities means that a wider range of food can reach people. While great strides have been made, WRAP urges the food sector to do more. Businesses working in collaboration with the redistribution industry now need to find solutions to other issues which prevent access to harder to reach surplus.”
In the video below, Richard Humphrey, Operations Director at His Church reflects on their work as Courtauld Commitment signatories and the benefits resulting from their Resource Action Fund grant award. The Resource Action Fund for Food waste prevention, funded by Defra and administered by WRAP, provided grant funding to a number of redistribution organisations to support with the utilisation of surplus food.
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