London Mayor launches business food waste scheme

14 November 2013

By Michael Holder

A £1 million scheme to help support businesses in the capital to cut food waste has been launched by the London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The FoodSave project is being funded by the Greater London Authority, the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and the European Regional Development Fund to support more than 240 small and medium-sized businesses in reducing food waste over the next 18 months.

The FoodSave project has been launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson
The FoodSave project has been launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson

The project, launched on Tuesday (November 12), aims to achieve overall savings for businesses of £360,000 and prevent 1,000 tonnes of food waste being sent to landfill.

Of the 240 businesses, 100 will receive a minimum of 12 hours support from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which is delivering the scheme, or Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

According to the London Mayor’s office, the support given to the remaining 140 businesses will vary depending on ‘need and the resources available’.

The support offered – such as one-to-one advice and training events– is tailored to each business but may include:

  • Identifying  where most food is wasted
  • Providing advice on how to reduce food waste
  • Helping businesses send food to people in need through organisations that redistribute food
  • Helping businesses to direct food waste to feed animals such as pigs (where legally permitted).

Where food waste can’t be avoided, support composting and renewable energy generation.
The SRA will work with restaurants, hotels, pubs, canteens and quick service restaurants. Sustain, meanwhile, will work with business involved in food retail, food manufacturing and preparation; catering facilities; street food traders; market tall holders; wholesale markets and food growers; and farmers.

Finance

The European Regional Development Fund is providing £500,000 for the project, while the Mayor of London has committed £370,000 and the remaining £130,000 is coming from LWARB.

“FoodSave is a brilliant initiative that can help businesses reduce their food waste disposal costs and become more efficient. I encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved and both save money and help the environment.”

Matthew Pencharz, Greater London Authority

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s senior adviser on environment said: “FoodSave is a brilliant initiative that can help businesses reduce their food waste disposal costs and become more efficient. I encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved and both save money and help the environment.”

FoodSave has started working with a small number of businesses and will be rolled out to more early in the new year, he said.

The launch of the scheme follows the publication of a food waste report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which estimates that around 15 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away each year, of which four million comes from food service, restaurants and manufacturing (see letsrecycle.com story).

Related Links

FoodSave

Food waste also makes up 41% of all waste generated by the UK hospitality sector.

This week, recycler ReFood UK also launched its Vision 2020 report, which called on Defra to set a clear strategy for dealing with food waste in England, following waste minister Dan Rogerson’s announcement that the department is to scale back waste activities in 2014/15 (see letsrecycle.com story).