Government announces £15 million project to cut food waste

Policy designed to cut the estimated 100,000 tonnes of edible food that is thrown away every year

Tuesday 02 October 2018 17:02
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Michael Gove delivers his speech on the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham
Michael Gove delivers his speech on the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham

The government has announced a £15m project to cut food waste after calling for more action to “preserve our world”.

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, launched the policy at the Conservative Party conference and said it was important that the government did more to uphold their manifesto pledge of handing the environment to the next generation in a better state.

He said it was important the world was “cleaner, greener and stronger" as he announced the multi-million pound project, which is designed to cut the estimated 100,000 tonnes of edible food that is thrown away every year.

Last year The Independent launched its Help a Hungry Child campaign to raise money for The Felix Project, which collects food that cannot be sold and would be wasted and delivers it to charities.

More than £1 million was donated to the campaign, helping The Felix Project continue to provide a door-to-door service collecting surplus food from suppliers.

The project's work helps to provide nearly 3 million high quality meals per year to disadvantaged adults and children.

Mr Gove’s new food waste reduction scheme will look to cut the amount of food that goes uneaten - the equivalent of 250 million meals each year.

"I can announce action this day to invest £15m so that food which would otherwise be wasted is redistributed to those most in need,” he told delegates in Birmingham.

"Working with industry and charities, we should be able to get up to 250 million extra meals a year on to the tables and plates of the most deserving in our society.

"This is determined green action from a Conservative government."

The move follows the launch in December of a £500,000 food waste reduction fund, administered by sustainability agency Wrap.

It was designed to support local projects run by organisations and charities to move surplus food to those in need.

Last week it was revealed that major supermarkets and manufacturers were signing up to help the UK halve levels of food waste by 2030.

A new "roadmap" unveiled by Wrap and food and grocery charity IGD sets milestones for businesses to work throughout the supply chain to tackle the UK's £20 billion annual food waste bill.

The roadmap aims to ensure the UK meets the global sustainable development goal to halve per capita food waste by 2030.

By next September, it aims to have all large retailers and 50 per cent of other large food businesses set a target to reduce food waste that is in line with or contributes to the global goal - and to be measuring, reporting and taking action.

By 2026, all large food businesses should have a target to cut food waste from their own operations.

Under the roadmap, companies will also work with suppliers and help consumers cut food waste, which currently costs more than £300 per person each year.

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