Simon Fell Backs Calls for £25 Million Investment in FareShare to Combat Food Waste

Simon Fell MP has come forward to endorse a plan to tackle food waste, and get more good-to-eat surplus food to charities. Fell signed a letter to the Prime Minister with a group of 19 Conservative colleagues, backing FareShare’s proposal for a £25 million investment from the government and industry to address the pressing issue of food waste in the UK.

FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, has put forth a practical plan that has garnered widespread backing from the public, charities, food industry leaders, and the National Farmers Union. The initiative aims to save 42,500 tonnes of surplus food from British farms and deliver an additional 100 million meals to charities and community organisations.

In Barrow and Furness last year, FareShare redistributed the equivalent of 223,340 meals via 9 local charities, but there is still demand for more food. This support from government would mean more surplus food gets to people who need it.

Commenting, Mr. Fell said:

“Britain’s economy has bounced back from Covid in a manner stronger than Germany and other eurozone economies. Despite this, too many people wake up and go to bed hungry in the UK.”

“At the same time, vast quantities of food are wasted on farms and in our factories. The funding that we are calling for would allow more of this food to get to local charities who need it. It is a popular scheme amongst farmers, who would rather see their unsold food used to feed people, as opposed to going to Anaerobic Digestion, animal feed, landfill, or left to rot in the field.”

“Conservative governments have shown leadership in this space previously, and the time is right for us to do so again.”

Public backing is evident, with over 100,000 people signing a petition and 1,400 charities writing an open letter in support of the funding. Recent polling by FareShare indicates that 88% of the public believes surplus food should be donated to people and charities, and 78% feel the government should do more to facilitate charity access to surplus food. The scheme also has the support of the National Farmers Union.

FareShare’s CEO, George Wright said:

 “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Simon for his continued support for FareShare. This initiative aligns with key government policy agendas, including the environmental strategy, net zero, levelling up, and resilience building. It also means we will be able to get more fresh, nutritious meals to communities up and down the country, which will benefit from more healthy food.”

“In addition, it will prevent the wasteful emissions of nearly 70,000 tonnes of CO2e. Our unique model means we can multiply the environmental and social impact of our partners and donors through a wide range of local charities, from children’s clubs and community centres to homeless shelters and domestic violence refuges.”

“We need the government to act, so are urging them to make it cost neutral for British farmers and food businesses to redistribute their unsold surplus food, and turn an environmental problem into a social good.”

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