Are you concerned about food wastage in the UK food industry? I definitely am – to me, in a civilised, advanced society like ours, food wastage is avoidable, unnecessary and is akin to throwing away money.
I recently discovered an organisation called Fareshare (http://www.fareshare.org.uk/) that works with food surpluses that exist in the UK food manufacturing industry and its supply chain. They are a nationwide charity that supports communities to relieve food poverty and alleviate food waste, and have a simple message: ‘No Good Food Should Be Wasted’.
I visited Fareshare’s South London depot in Bermondsey to see the work that they do. When I arrived I was not sure quite what to expect. If anything, I expected to see sub-standard provisions and produce that was past its best. What I found there really, really shocked me. The depot was full of perfect, high quality fruit, vegetables, dry goods, tinned food, cheeses, dairy products and other foods. My initial reaction was disgust and frustration that so much good quality food is being wasted by the food industry in huge quantities on a daily basis.
I spoke to Maria Oleson, Fareshare’s marketing communications manager who told me more about the work that they do. I was really impressed to hear about the way that Fareshare works in partnership with large and small food producers and suppliers, and rescues food which would otherwise end up in landfill, by providing it to 2,200 organisations that feed vulnerable members of society. A staggering 20,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed per year. Fareshare also works in the community to raise awareness of food wastage via their Eat Well Live Well programme.
Here is my interview with Maria.