Redistributing surplus food is one of the best ways that businesses can help to reduce the amount of food that ends up as waste. WRAP has previously reported on progress on increasing surplus food redistribution between 2015 and 2018, and this report provides additional data for 2019 and 2020.
To meet the Courtauld Commitment food waste target and UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, collaborative and concerted efforts to reduce food waste are required. Redistributing surplus food not only prevents the waste of money and resources that go into the production of the food, but also ensures that more food is available for people to eat. Increasing the availability of surplus food and the capacity and capability of the redistribution sector to handle this has been even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Courtauld Commitment Surplus Food Redistribution Working Group has been instrumental in increasing the amount of food redistributed across the UK. In addition, funding under the Resource Action Fund and the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant has increased both the capacity and capability of the redistribution sector, and address some of the barriers to more surplus being made available. Almost £12 million has been awarded to around 250 projects since 2017 through WRAP and Defra schemes.
Additional work to increase surplus food redistribution includes:
- The refreshed Food and Drink Surplus Network aims to make it even easier for those with surplus to identify and connect with both commercial and charitable redistributors.
- The updated WRAP/Defra/FSA Surplus food redistribution labelling guidance has also helped to remove some of the barriers to redistribution. And more recently WRAP has released Best practice guidance on redistributing own-label products within the supply chain to enable even more surplus food to be redistributed.
- Incorporating redistribution as an integral element within wider efforts to reduce food waste has also been important, for example via the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and the Guardians of Grub campaign for the hospitality and food service sector.
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Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015 2020
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