Fighting Food Waste with FareShare
Date: 10-04-2019 published by Nick Baines
Sustainability and tackling food waste is high on the agenda for many businesses. Restaurants like Silo in Brighton have paved the way for many other low waste food operations that find culinary uses for offcuts and scraps, as well as contributing to composting schemes.
As one of the UK’s largest fresh produce wholesalers, we know first hand how difficult it can be to tackle food waste, especially when ‘fresh’ is such a limited time frame. That’s why we are proud to be working with FareShare.
At Fresh Direct we handle a huge volume of fresh produce daily (when most people are still in bed) delivering to hotels, restaurants, pubs and caterers throughout the UK.
We have checks and measures in place to make sure we estimate volumes effectively, but when working with such high quantities it’s difficult to operate without excess fruit and veg.
By partnering with FareShare, we’ve been able to make sure our surplus fruit and veg isn’t going to waste, helping to feed vulnerable people. FareShare is on the front lines redistributing food to charities all over the UK. From homeless shelters and domestic refuges, to lunch groups for the elderly and school breakfast clubs, FareShare are the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste.
FareShare collect 30 pallets of surplus fruit and vegetables from our network each week and since December 2018, that’s been enough food for around 18,738 meals for people in need.
What’s inspiring, is the sheer scale of what FareShare are doing, an operation that works in 1500 towns and cities in the UK through 21 regional distribution centres. They support over 9,600 charities and community groups – a number growing daily. Last year, FareShare distributed enough food for a staggering 36.7 million meals.
Food waste is a serious business and efforts to tackle it should be made at every opportunity. Getting creative with offcuts and scraps can be very useful, giving you interesting menu items and increasing yield. From pickling carrot tops and utilising Dan Barber-style techniques a la Blue Hill, to using aquafaba as an egg substitute in mayonnaise and meringues, it’s a realm certainly worth exploring.
But maybe this approach isn’t for you, or maybe it is but you still have leftover produce that’s destined for the bin. Either way, there are organisations that can get this food to charities and communities who really need it, and in rapid time too. So for whatever usable, leftover produce you have, why not try working with organisations like FareShare that can help you tackle food waste and help feed those in need.
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