Campaign stops £2m of food going to waste

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coronavirus

Waste fears: closing the hospitality trade has meant stock is not being sold through
Waste fears: closing the hospitality trade has meant stock is not being sold through
Wholesalers and other food bodies have joined forces to prevent produce such as cheese, milk, fruits and meat from going to landfill now the hospitality sector has been shut down.

The British Frozen Food, Wholesale Distributors’ and Provision Trade Federations have developed an online platform to collect data on perishable products that are coming to the end of their shelf-life.

Some £2m of food has already been registered as a result of the project, which will see, where possible, surplus stock sold to retailers, manufacturers, the Company Shop Group or given away to charities.

Cheese, yogurt and cooked meats

Data is being collected on products such as cheese, yogurt, cooked meats, fruit juices and other short shelf-life products nearing the end of their peak quality.

British Frozen Food Federation chief executive Richard Harrow said: “Since the closure of the hospitality sector, the supply chain into the out-of-home market is overstocked with chilled products that are fast approaching the end of their shelf life.

“Our federations urgently need to understand the scale of the problem we are facing so that we and other trade bodies can find ways to help the industry deal with this stock and mitigate a potentially shocking amount of food going to waste.”

Wholesalers are able to register products coming to the end of their best-before dates on a newly created website, where the details of the top 10 chilled and frozen lines they have​ overstocks on, plus the values of that stock, are gathered.

Recompense for losses

Harrow added: “All three federations are making strong representations to Government to ensure that if our industry takes this action, there will be some form of recompense for the inevitable financial losses that will occur.

“We appreciate these are extremely difficult and busy times for everyone. But please do take a few moments to upload your data to allow us to understand the scale of the issue.

“We are also working on options to provide guidance on freezing some chilled lines to provide additional life.”

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