Food waste reversal could supply 250m extra meals

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has claimed that 250 million extra meals could be supplied each year to the most needy in society by cracking down on unnecessary food waste.

Announcing a £15 million trial alongside businesses and charities to redistribute food that is currently being disposed of, Gove told the Conservative party Conference that current levels of food waste were a ‘moral, economic and environmental folly’.

Approximately 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, with a further estimated 100,000 tonnes of food is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion, or animal feed.

Gove said: “Nobody wants to see good food go to waste. It harms our environment, it’s bad for business – and it’s morally indefensible. Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food is never eaten. This has got to change. In the coming months we will work closely with business, charities and volunteers to deliver a new scheme to tackle this problem.”

The new scheme follows the £500,000 Food Waste Reduction Fund announced in December last year to support the substantial reduction of food waste throughout England.

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