Government Food waste reduction plan could benefit those in need in Derbyshire

A local charity has welcomed plans to cut food waste in the UK and provide 'millions' of extra meals for those in need.

The environment secretary, Michael Gove recently revealed a scheme to create an extra 250 million extra meals a year across the UK.

Currently around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year. It is estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food - equating to 250 million meals a year - is edible and readily available but goes uneaten.

Food waste in the UK totals 10.2 million tonnes per year, of which 1.8 million tonnes comes from food manufacture, 1 million from the hospitality sector, and 260,000 from retail, with the remainder from households.

Mr. 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."

Local charity, Fairshare East Midlands have welcomed the plans. Simone Connolly said: "Instead of that food being destroyed, we can hopefully see that end up in community centres, breakfast clubs, school holiday clubs, even foodbanks across Derbyshire so the community can only see a real benefit from this.

Simone explained the fund would help manufacturers with managing waste more efficiently: "It will help food companies re-distribute their surplus food when it occurs. There's many challenges to food companies, particularly producers to actually getting their surplus food to organisations who re-distribute to community groups."


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