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Less than 1% of UK's surplus food used to feed hungry

Less than 1% of edible surplus food produced by UK manufacturers and farms is being sent to charities to help feed the hungry, according to new figures.

Vegetables that are perfectly edible are being left to rot in the fields, and other foods not sold to retailers are put into anaerobic digestion or sent straight to landfill, the UK’s largest redistribution charity FareShare has warned.

While retailers and supermarkets have doubled the amount of surplus food sent to feed the needy in the last three years, a high volume of food that never makes it into the shops is being needlessly wasted elsewhere in the supply chain, it said.

In the 2016/17 financial year, retailers redistributed more than 5,389 tonnes of edible food to charities. The figure for farms, suppliers and manufacturers was just 3,067 tonnes out of an estimated 610,000 tonnes of surplus edible food.

According to the government’s waste advisory body Wrap, food waste at a supermarket level – any edible food that remains unsold – stands at just 2%, whereas 17% of edible food surplus found in manufacturers and on farms is lost.

The majority of food waste in the UK comes from households, making up 71% of the total. Manufacturing contributes 17% and hospitality and food service 9%.

Read more at The Guardian

Publication date: 5/19/2017


 


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