Fareshare Launches Sobering Pre-Election Manifesto

Leading food charity FareShare has launched its manifesto ahead of the General Election, calling on the next Government to commit to delivering more surplus food to those in need.   

The UK is grappling with more than 4 million tonnes of perfectly edible food going to waste annually – the equivalent weight of 70 aircraft carriers – significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Simultaneously, 11 million people in the country face food insecurity, and the poorest households are forced to spend half their income to afford a healthy diet, leading to a host of health issues.   

FareShare, the UK’s largest charity dedicated to tackling the environmental problem of food waste for social good, has put forth a comprehensive and costed manifesto.  

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, FareShare has been at the forefront of tackling food waste and food insecurity, leveraging its extensive expertise to drive impactful change.   

Titled “Where’s the Food? Strengthening Communities Through Surplus Food Redistribution”, it calls on the next government to make it easier for businesses to donate surplus food. It underscores the crucial role of increasing support for the food redistribution sector.   

The manifesto not only aligns with FareShare’s vision for a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable UK but also promises tangible benefits. If implemented, it would significantly reduce food waste, support communities in need, and foster a more sustainable food system.  

The manifesto calls for:  

  • Subsidies for farmers to cover redistribution costs  
  • Tax benefits for businesses donating surplus food  
  • Mandatory food waste reporting  
  • Clear guidelines for ‘good samaritans’ on food donation safety  
  • Sustained funding for farm level food redistribution  
  • A UK-wide plan to end charitable food aid  
  • Resources for local food waste and food security projects  

The paper has been shaped by extensive expert consultation with businesses, third sector organisations and academics. Hundreds of charities who receive food from FareShare have also already pledged their support.  

George Wright, CEO of FareShare, said: “The waste of millions of tonnes of surplus food in the UK supply chain presents a major opportunity for businesses, the third sector, and the government to transform how we deal with this problem collectively.  

 ”We welcome the recently announced £15 million for the sector, and now we can build on it. In this manifesto, we’ve set out the means to do this – through a combination of simple measures that will encourage more businesses to redistribute their surplus food, empower communities to use it and contribute to progressive policymaking in our food system. 

“Our solutions are achievable, and they do not cost the earth. But we need support from those with the power to act. As a general election nears, political parties must grasp this challenge and commit to the policies that will help close the gap between the UK’s surplus food and those who need it.”  

Every £1 FareShare spends on redistributing yields almost £6 in social value, saving millions for services like the NHS and fostering resilient, sustainable communities.   

FareShare’s proposals support Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030, the UK’s commitments at Cop 28 and align with the UK’s domestic environmental plans.  

Read the full manifesto here: www.fareshare.org.uk/manifesto 

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