The UK’s largest food charity, FareShare, is launching the #FoodOnPlates campaign to stop millions of tonnes of fresh, unsold food from being wasted, when it could instead go to charities and community groups feeding families.
One in 8 people in the UK struggles to afford food – and the pandemic has resulted in many more families facing food insecurity, with 67% of charities providing emergency food aid saying they would have to continue, even as restrictions ease.
Despite this, it is cheaper for farmers to waste good-to-eat food than get it to charities putting meals onto people’s plates. France, which offers business incentives through reduced taxation for food redistribution, gets 6x more unsold food to charities.
WRAP estimates there is over 2 million tonnes of edible surplus food in the supply chain, with the majority found on farms.
‘Lifeline’ government funding launched in 2018 that helped farmers cover the costs of getting unsold food to charities has been axed – and calls to renew it rejected.
The #FoodOnPlates campaign calls for funding of £5m a year to help farmers and food producers cover the costs of safely storing and transporting unsold food so it can be redistributed. This would enable the UK to double the amount of food delivered to those in need. Without it, 53m meals worth of food will be wasted.