WRAP & Fareshare Unite To Tackle Surplus Food In Wales

Pile of composting natural wasteThe first Welsh Surplus Food Summit aims to showcase best practice for food redistribution, bringing together government, industry and charities to explore solutions.

Central to the event, industry leaders from grass-roots projects to leading business initiatives will share cutting-edge case studies and new developments in the field.

The summit follows WRAP’s latest research, showing retailers and manufacturers could increase redistribution from 90m meals across the UK, to 360m meals.

The event, held by WRAP Cymru and FareShare Cymru, aims to demonstrate how the two organisations work collaboratively to prevent waste and increase food redistribution, which helps tackle poverty and deliver the goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. Topics such as barriers to redistribution will also be addressed, as well as the economic and environmental case for change.

Carl Nichols, Head of WRAP Cymru – “Food waste is a priority material in the Welsh Government’s Towards Zero Waste strategy because of its environmental impact”

The Summit will detail how redistribution schemes can work successfully, drawing on experience from schemes including Tesco’s work with FareShare FoodCloud, and a WRAP Cymru project to examine redistribution opportunities involving student volunteers from Swansea University.

Carl Nichols, Head of WRAP Cymru, said: “Food waste is a priority material in the Welsh Government’s Towards Zero Waste strategy because of its environmental impact.

“But reducing the amount of good food that gets thrown away and redistributing it to the people who need it the most can make a big difference to Welsh communities and families, which is why redistribution is a key element of WRAP Cymru’s Wales Food Waste Prevention Programme.”

Sarah Germain, Project Manager, FareShare Cymru, said: “A great deal of progress has already been made on surplus food redistribution here in Wales. Last year, FareShare Cymru redistributed more than 500 tonnes of surplus food that might otherwise have gone to waste, to frontline charities and community groups in Wales that support hungry and vulnerable people.

“Yet there is the potential to help many more charities, and feed many more people, by working with food businesses to turn an environmental problem into a social solution, with the goal of ensuring that no good food is wasted.”

Case Studies

Sainsbury’s food redistribution, Cardiff

Sainsbury’s and WRAP Cymru instigated the project in Cardiff and worked with an intermediary to identify potential charity partners. We contacted an initial list of 12 local charities based in central Cardiff with clients that could potentially benefit from the project. A “back-of-store” surplus food project was set up at the Sainsbury’s Queen Street store with two local charities, Bawso and Cardiff Women’s Aid. Food was collected by each charity on different days of the week and redistributed directly to the residents of the refuges run by the charities in Cardiff. The project has enabled good quality food to be regularly provided to those who are having difficulty in providing food for themselves due to personal circumstances.

The outcome: On average, 345kgs of surplus food (equivalent to approximately 700 meals) per month was redistributed from the store by participating charities.

For more information, visit: http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/02-Sainsbury%27s%20Case%20Study.pdf

Swansea University Commercial Services and Morrisons

In Swansea the local student volunteer organisation, Discovery, joined with a local branch of Morrisons supermarket and Swansea University to set up a WRAP commissioned pilot scheme to explore how students could assist charities with the  redistribution of surplus food. This came following the announcement that Morrisons would be donating more surplus food to charity, and Discovery signed up as the Swansea partner.

The outcome: Student volunteers collected, sorted and distributed surplus food from Morrisons, supporting two local charities, Swansea Women’s Aid and Swansea Single Young Homeless Project. In the first three months of the Swansea pilot, over £3,000 worth of surplus food was donated by Morrisons.

Tesco, and FareShare FoodCloud

Through Community Food Connection with FareShare FoodCloud, Tesco store managers alert charities and community groups to the amount of surplus food they have at the end of each day. The charity then confirms it wants the food, picks it up free of charge from the store and turns it into meals for people who need it.

Beneficiaries of the charities receiving food come from the wide range of charities supported by FareShare including homeless hostels, women’s refuges and breakfast clubs for disadvantaged children.

For more information, visit: http://www.tesco.com/community-food-connection/

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