Charity launches £3m fund to help companies divert edible surplus to good causes

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FareShare has launched a new fund, the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund, aimed at offsetting the additional costs faced by companies seeking to redistribute their edible surplus food to charities and community groups.

The £3m fund is open to new companies, as well as companies that already work with FareShare and are seeking to redistribute additional surplus food items. It can also be used to unlock harder to reach surplus food, or surplus food that’s further up the supply chain.

Companies could be eligible for up to £50,000 worth of funding. This could be used to cover the additional staff costs needed for packing and sorting edible surplus food, or in building, implementing and managing new processes. It could also cover packaging and transportation costs, or lost income from the sale of surplus to animal feed or anaerobic digestion.

FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, taking edible surplus food from more than 500 food businesses, including major brands and retailers, and redistributing it to vulnerable people through a UK-wide network of almost 11,000 frontline charities. These include community cafes, older people’s centres, domestic violence refuges and breakfast clubs in schools. Last year the charity created over 44.5m meals for people in need, saving the voluntary sector £33.5m.

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell, 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.

“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.”

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FareShare has fundraised nearly £3m to support the food industry with the costs of keeping surplus food fresh so it can be redistributed via our UK-wide network of 11,000 charities. Defra has provided a grant of £1.9 million towards this fund, as part of their £15 million scheme launched in January by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, to help redistribution organisations across England to help overcome barriers to getting food currently going to waste onto people’s plates

Which businesses are eligible?

The fund is open to new companies as well as companies who already work with FareShare and are looking to redistribute new surplus food – particularly product or raw materials  found further up the food supply chain or that are seen as ‘harder to reach’ i.e. not in ready redistributable format.

It is open to growers, farmers, producers, pack houses, processors, co-packers, importers, wholesalers and retailers across the UK working with brand or own brand product It is not open to restaurants with surplus, previously cooked, food that requires reheating as FareShare do not redistribute food of this nature to charities. It is open to food service suppliers, or restaurant chains seeking to redistribute surplus raw materials or ready to eat food typically found further up the supply chain, before it is delivered to restaurant outlets.

How much funding can companies access?

Companies could be eligible for up to £50,000* worth of funding -- and greater sums can be negotiated where appropriate for high volumes of surplus food. Any financial contribution made by FareShare towards the cost of surplus food redistribution is subject to negotiation and final agreement of the value in writing between FareShare and the recipient.

What can the fund cover? 

The FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund will offset any costs that arise from diverting edible surplus food to human consumption as and when surplus occurs. Food must be genuine surplus that would not otherwise have been sold for human consumption.

Some of the costs the fund can cover are:

  • Resource & labour: Covering the cost of additional activities like sorting, packing and picking/ edible surplus food as well as any management costs needed to build/change/implement new processes.
  • Packaging: Covering the cost of packaging, and any associated costs required to keep product or raw materials in usable format for our charities.
  • Transport: Covering the costs of using your current haulier to deliver into our network, or we can arrange for our own haulier partners to collect.
  • Freezing: Covering the cost of blast freezing short dated chilled foods and any associated relabelling storage and transport costs.
  • Lost income from recycling: Covering lost income made from sales of edible waste to animal feed or animal feed processing, or to anaerobic digestion.

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