£6 million fund to redistribute food opened
Published: 14 May 2019

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, has invited organisations to apply for the second round of funding under the government scheme to reduce food waste.

The fund aims to help charities and other organisations to handle and redistribute leftover food by investing in infrastructure, such as weighing equipment, storage solutions, warehouses, industrial fridges and freezers as well as labelling equipment and vehicles.

New figures show that redistribution of surplus food has almost doubled in the last three years, with enough food saved to produce the equivalent of 133 million meals a year. The Resource Action Fund is the second round of a £15 million scheme announced last year by Mr Gove to specifically address surplus food from retail and manufacturing.

Currently around 55,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year. It is estimated that around 100,000 tonnes of food, equal to around 250 million meals a year, is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead that surplus is sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion or animal feed.

During a conference hosted by Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot, many major food businesses, including Nestle, Tesco, Sainabury's and Waitrose, signed a pledge to take action on food waste, including a very distant goal to halve food waste by 2030.