The Bread and Butter Thing (TBBT) has announced a new redistribution partnership with one of the world’s leading fruit distributors, Lincolnshire-based Worldwide Fruit Ltd. Following a successful summer pilot, the two organisations are teaming up to ensure that Worldwide Fruit’s surplus produce is used to feed families in deprived communities across the north of England and beyond in a unique collaborative approach that will see thousands of tonnes of fruit saved each year.
Every year, Worldwide Fruit has surplus - from apples and pears to peaches, plums, nectarines and avocados - which it has previously struggled to redistribute at scale due to the logistical complexities of pallets, punnets and trays. However, working with TBBT, it has already redistributed over 65,300kg since June. That’s over 350,000 pieces of healthy, nutritious, quality fruit.
Andy Mitchell, Worldwide Fruit’s Senior Technical Manager explains: “Worldwide Fruit has always been determined to reduce its quantities of edible surplus that go to waste but we needed a redistribution partner that could work flexibly with the complex logistics of off-hiring and returning literally thousands of trays. In order for Worldwide Fruit to maximise its own sustainability and productivity, we constantly reuse our delivery trays, so their return is operationally critical. The Bread and Butter Thing came up with a simple but effective solution.”
Mark Game, CEO The Bread and Butter Thing continues: “Our solution was to take over the hire and return of the trays. That sounds simple but most redistributors can’t operate that flexibly. As The Bread and Butter Thing is a business to consumer model redistributing food direct to our members, this means that our logistics chain is end to end, which allows us to mitigate challenges which would be impossible elsewhere. The trays never leave our ecosystem so it’s easy for us to control.”
Andy Mitchell concludes: “The simplicity seems obvious but when dealing with thousands of trays each week, it’s not as easy as it sounds!”
Having piloted the new hiring system during the early summer months, Worldwide Fruit and TBBT have gone on to form a full partnership with over 65 tonnes of fruit already redistributed. Together, they are bringing the bounty of New Zealand, South America, South Africa and beyond to TBBT’s 53 hubs across the north of England whilst also reaching across the UK through the extended Xcess independent redistribution network, of which TBBT is a founder member.
As a result, over 350,000 pieces of surplus fruit are now reaching low income families as well as supporting summer HAF schemes, school lunches and community groups.
Mark Game adds: “The variety and quality of produce provided by Worldwide Fruit plays a big role in helping TBBT ensure that we can offer our members a range of food and improve diet diversity with fruit that they normally couldn’t afford or access locally.”
Last month Andy Mitchell paid a visit to TBBT as it opened its 52nd hub in Haughton Green, Tameside. He concludes: “No-one wants good food to go to waste, especially when so many people in need of support can benefit from it. It was great to attend a hub launch and see TBBT’s work in action in the community. I’m delighted that we can work with them to support parents in feeding their families healthy nutritious food, as well as playing our part in reducing food waste and its impact on the environment.”
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