Dr Neil Hudson MP backs campaign to end scandal of unsold food being wasted, instead of donated to charities feeding people in need
- One in 8 people in the UK struggles to afford food, yet more than a quarter of all the food grown in the UK is never eaten.
- France – which offers tax breaks for businesses redistributes 6x more fresh unsold food to charities.
- Lifeline funding that covered the additional costs faced by farmers and food producers involved in safely transporting and packing food ready to be redistributed has been axed, and calls to renew it have been rejected.
- Without it, 53 million meals worth of good-to-eat food could be wasted.
Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border and member of the Commons EFRA Select Committee is backing the #FoodOnPlates campaign to stop millions of tonnes of fresh, unsold food from being wasted, when it could instead go to charities and community groups feeding families.
One in 8 people in the UK struggles to afford food - and the pandemic has resulted in many more families facing food insecurity, with 67% of charities providing emergency food aid saying they would have to continue, even as restrictions ease. However, more than a quarter of all the food grown in the UK is never eaten, representing over 6% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.
The campaign is being led by food redistribution charity FareShare, who, in Penrith and The Border last year, redistributed the equivalent of 91,200 meals via 9 local organisations. They are calling for funding that would enable them to nearly double the amount of food that they could provide to people across the UK, through saving surplus food.
The charity, which is backed by Marcus Rashford, and celebrity chefs Tom Kerridge, Prue Leith, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, recently beamed falling carrots onto landmarks across the capital, including the Houses of Parliament – as they called on government to commit to vital food waste funding.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said: “Charities and community organisations in Penrith and The Border have been working tirelessly to support our community with food throughout the pandemic and beyond. That’s why I’m backing the #FoodOnPlates campaign for funding for farmers to get their unsold fresh food to charities supporting vulnerable families, instead of having to waste it.”
FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell, said: “I’m very pleased to be working with Dr Neil Hudson. Our network of frontline charities have been a lifeline for families during the pandemic, and, sadly, demand now remains at similar levels.”
“It’s a scandal that good food is left to rot in our fields or be thrown into biogas digesters or landfill when so many families are still dependent on food aid in the wake of the crisis, with thousands more unable to afford healthy fruit and veg.”
“France rescues six times more unsold food that we do in the UK, in part thanks to tax breaks that cover the additional costs of getting that food to charities. That’s why we’re calling on the UK government to reinstate landmark funding to save good food and get it onto people’s plates.”
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge said: “Wasting food is always wrong, but on this level it’s a scandal. If farmers and food producers aren’t able to sell their food it should be going to the frontline charities who are crying out for it, not being dumped back in to the ground.”