An innovative new scheme is set to eradicate the issue of meat waste by distributing surplus food to charity.
The £3 million FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund is looking to encourage meat and fish businesses to hand over their edible leftovers as opposed to sending them to anaerobic digestion or landfill. And it means that new companies, alongside those already in association with FareShare, may be eligible for up to £50,000 worth of funding. This is set to cover the additional staff costs and process overhauls needed for packaging and sorting the donated food. The funds may also be used to off-set the lost income of sales to anaerobic digestion.
In effect, the project is carefully designed to both protect the environment and provide adequate nutrition for the vulnerable. Just last year, FareShare diverted 300 tonnes of meat, fish and seafood to charities and community groups in the UK. This translates to a staggering 750,000 meals for those in need.
The issue of reducing meat waste has been slowly worsening across the globe, with experts insisting urgent action is needed. According to eco-friendly charity Friends of the Earth, 50 million chickens are wasted in the UK each year. Not only that but 240,000 tonnes of food per annum is wasted by supermarkets across the nation. FareShare’s mission is to reduce these statistics rapidly and facilitate a fairer, less wasteful Britain.
As the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, they work with more than 500 food businesses and a network of 11,000 frontline charities. Among those charities includes community cafes, domestic violence refuges and school breakfast clubs.
But, FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell insisted the food industry still had a long way to go in tackling waste. She said: “With government set to consult on mandatory food waste reporting, businesses are now facing even more scrutiny when it comes to food waste. This fund will be instrumental in making sure companies who want to do the right thing with their surplus can quickly and safely divert their surplus to frontline charities, in a way that’s cost effective.”
Ms Boswell added: “The FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund enables us to step up the support we can offer the food industry, and we’re keen to hear from businesses who are looking to develop individual solutions to surplus found higher up the food chain, or to surplus that’s previously been seen as ‘harder to reach’.
“It’s a win-win for industry – tackling the issue of food waste at the same time as making a real and measurable impact in the communities they operate within – putting good food on the plates of people who need it.”
It comes after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) this week released a plethora of documents hoping to tackle UK food wastage. One of the many new proposals released by Environment Secretary Michael Gove included mandatory weekly collections of surplus food across Britain.
You can support FareShare by visiting: https://fareshare.org.uk/volunteer
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