Food industry’s eight-step waste, poverty and efficiency plan

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

FareShare has received 7,360t from the food industry over the past year
FareShare has received 7,360t from the food industry over the past year

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The food and drink industry has united behind a new eight-step plan for food businesses to increase resource efficiency, reduce food waste and support people experiencing food poverty.

The FareShare Food Efficiency Framework is being launched today (June 17) at an event in London with the backing of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Fresh Produce Consortium, Asda, Sainsbury, Tesco, Nestlé and Kellogg.

The eight-steps (see box below) to ensure surplus food is identified as early as possible so that it can be made available for charity redistribution is split into three areas – prepare, share and benefit.

Benefits to be reaped

There are immense social, environmental and economic benefits to be reaped from following this guideline, FareShare’s ceo Lindsay Boswell claimed.

“We all have a part to play in ensuring that good food is used for its purpose and is redistributed to charities to help those people who need it the most,” ​she said.

“We are immensely pleased to see such a broad range of food businesses turning up today to hear from industry leaders so that they can understand how they too can do the right thing with their surplus food.”

8-step food efficiency plan


  • Commit to the food use hierarchy
  • Define the scope of your ‘surplus’ food
  • Identify and anticipate where surplus food could occur
  • Segregate the surplus


  • Align, allocate and offer
  • Distribute the food


  • Monitor and report
  • Get the story out

Preventing food waste was a key priority for food and drink manufacturers, the FDF’s director genera lIan Wright said.

“Where surpluses cannot be avoided, redirecting food to feed people should be a first consideration,” ​he said. “We hope this event will encourage more food companies to ensure any surplus food is redistributed to people in need​.”

Top priority

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said the top priority for retailers was to keep food surplus and food waste to an absolute minimum.

“While the overall proportion of waste occurring within supermarkets is relatively small, we will nevertheless continue working with our supply chain partners and consumers to reduce waste both along the supply chain and within the home.”

Nigel Jenney, chief executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, said: “Diverting surplus food can help people in need who don’t always have regular access to healthy fresh produce. We’re encouraging the fresh produce industry to work with organisations like FareShare, and to reduce waste in the supply chain​.”

In the last year FareShare received 7,360t from the food industry (a 33% increase on the previous year). This food was redistributed to 1,923 charities and community projects and contributed towards no fewer than 15.3M meals.

FareShare estimates that there is enough surplus food available for 800M meals and is seeking continued support from the food industry to ensure more is diverted to feed vulnerable people in need.

Meanwhile, look out for our exclusive video interviews from the event.

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