Working with nation-wide redistribution charity FareShare

11 September 2023

Environment and climate
Two workers at FareShare handling food donations

FareShare is the UK’s largest, nationwide food redistribution charity. It works with the food industry to redistribute good-to-eat imperfect or surplus food to nearly 11,000 charities and community groups across the UK.

FareShare is 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. It can take food in a wide range of formats including fresh, frozen, ambient and chilled foods.

To limit business costs, FareShare can provide free rapid collections and have authorisation from major retailers and some food service businesses to redistribute branded packaged products. It can redistribute small to very large volumes of food from businesses thanks to its 31 UK-wide warehouses, haulier partnerships and fleet of vehicles.

It can then get the food to a broad range of charities and organisations including children’s clubs, food banks, homeless shelters and women’s refuges.

Financial support available

Diverting your surplus food to UK charities can be even easier thanks to FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund that can support companies to offset costs they may incur in order to divert their food to FareShare. The fund can reimburse pre-agreed costs for processes and materials required in order to get food, that will no longer be commercially sold, dispatched to FareShare. This can include costs for harvesting, labour, materials and transport. The fund is quick and easy to access and costs are reimbursed via invoices.

FareShare’s Fund has seen UK producers collectively harvest or prepare for dispatch the equivalent of nearly 5 million meals last year for those in need using surplus or imperfect British produce. It’s even helped businesses to innovate and transform unused meat offcuts into useful repacked protein products for FareShare.

Case study: FerryFast & Waste Knot

A partnership between fresh produce company FerryFast, food redistribution organisation Waste Knot, and FareShare has seen more than 1400 tonnes of surplus fruit and veg saved from waste and diverted to charities. This is enough food to create more than 3.3 million meals for vulnerable people since 2019.

Fresh food including cabbages, root vegetables and apples have all been redistributed alongside specially made vegetable stew boxes and salad boxes - which are particularly valuable and convenient for FareShare’s network of charities. FerryFast and Waste Knot accessed funding through FareShare’s Surplus with Purpose Fund, which enabled the two partners to divert ‘harder to reach surplus food at no additional cost to them.

Pete Osborne, Managing Director at FerryFast, said: “Everyone has a right to access fresh fruit and vegetables. Wasted produce should no longer be a factor in our communities, especially with the aid of the FareShare Surplus with Purpose Fund.”

How to offer food to FareShare

1. Contact the Food Coordination team about your food offer via: [email protected] or 020 7064 8911. The hotline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

2. Please provide the following information when making a food offer (template form available on request):

  • Consumable type: Product type/s description.
  • Storage (unopened): Ambient, chilled or frozen.
  • Volume: Pallet quantity (1.8m max. height restriction) & ideally, pallet weight/s (1 tonne max. weight restriction/pallet).
  • Life: Printed Use By Date or Best Before End (state which type) or, if neither apply, estimated edible life (days). They require 48 hours life on receipt at FareShare warehouses on UBD dated products. Please consider weekend closures. With BBD, they can redistribute product approaching or past it’s printed BBD. Please submit a letter of extension from the manufacturer detailing the product’s edible life (no. of days) for frozen, tinned, bakery or dried foods. Extension letter template available on request.
  • Logistics: Address of product location and contact details of a person at this location
  • Unlabelled manufactured products: Please provide an attachment in your email with the required labelling information as stipulated by Trading Standards.

3. The Food Coordination team will confirm a logistics solution with you to redistribute your food offer to FareShare. They aim to provide next day solutions for your food, if contacted before 3pm Mon-Fri.

To read Fareshare's guide in full, you can download the guide at: Fareshare for NFU members

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