Food Waste Fund: £4 million awarded to cut food waste

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just awarded more than £4 million through the Food Waste Reduction Fund to four redistribution organisations across England to help overcome barriers to getting food currently going to waste onto people’s plates.

The successful bids – from Fareshare, Company Shop Group, The Felix Project and Food Works Sheffield – will receive funding through the first tranche of a £15 million scheme launched in January.

The projects will enable existing food redistribution companies to take more surplus food from manufacturers and retailers and stop it going to waste.

As part of the selection exercise, the projects had to put forward their proposals on how they would do this. Solutions included:

o Developing new supply routes from growers and local distributors;
o Funding new lines and additional staff; and
o Increasing capacity for repackaging and labelling.

A further round of funding will focus on improving infrastructure for companies to redistribute more of the estimated 100,000 tonnes of food – equating to 250 million meals a year – which is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion or animal feed.

Further information about the Food Waste Fund is available on the GOV.UK website.