Food surplus and food waste occurs at all stages along the supply chain, from production, distribution, and consumption. Each year, a significant amount of food becomes either waste or surplus, due to a range of different factors which can have consequences on both an environmental and social level. By understanding the contributing factors and implementing practical solutions, we can reduce waste and surplus, and create a more sustainable food system.
Farmers play an essential role in providing food for our communities, and many of the causes leading to food waste are due to circumstances beyond their control. Climatic events, supply chain unfairness and labour shortages, all contribute to food waste and surplus. The NFU is committed to enabling members in adopting practices that reduce waste, and ensure that waste from external factors is kept to a minimum, while maintaining productive agricultural operations.
These charities are dedicated to minimising food waste and redistributing surplus food to those in need. Have a read through each one to find out how you can work with them.
FareShare is the UK’s largest, nationwide food redistribution charity. It's able to redistribute off specification, short-dated, mislabelled, unfinished and retail packaged products across all food types including fresh produce, dairy, meat, poultry and eggs.
Fareshare have also put together a guide for NFU members on everything you need to know about donating food.
The Bread and Butter Thing
The Bread and Butter Thing is a community focused, food waste redistribution charity which works to reduce food waste in the UK, while ensuring that surplus food goes to people who need it most.
You can get in touch via email at [email protected] or listen to the charity's video on how it works with suppliers.
Read how The Bread and Butter Thing has worked with growers across the UK, including NFU members, Chandler and Dunn.
The Company Shop
As it looks to divert more surplus goods, the Company Shop Group is enhancing its focus on the farm gate to identify new ways of capturing produce that may currently go to waste. This could include things like wonky veg or out-of-spec produce, surplus in bulk at the farm or pack house, or at harvest in the field.
You can learn more about the work they've done so far by reading our feature on the NFU's visit to the Company Shop's HQ.
Based in London, City Harvest works to redistribute food that would otherwise be wasted.
City Harvest puts surplus food to good use in a sustainable way by delivering free food for over 1 million meals a month to 350+ charities, including; children’s programmes, food banks, refuges for women fleeing domestic violence and families fleeing war-torn countries, and local groups across London welcoming the elderly and isolated.
The Felix Project is a London based food redistribution charity focussed on fighting food waste and hunger.
With four depots around London, The Felix Project can collect food surpluses from all over central London and from within a 100 miles radius.
Contact The Felix Project to discuss a collection and support millions of vulnerable people.
Food waste charities – get in touch with the NFU
Are you a UK based food waste or redistribution charity interested in working with the NFU? If so, please fill out our expression of interest form below and the NFU's food business unit and environment teams will be in touch.