Redistributing food Surplus!

Researchers for WRAP estimate that the UK currently produces 1.9 million tonnes of waste each year from the grocery supply chain[1].  Of this, about 56% (1.1. million tonnes) can be considered avoidable food waste.  mostly because it is surpus and not yet waste.  Wrap argues that after changing processes to reduce the amount of food becoming surplus, redistribution of surplus food to people is the most desirable option for food waste prevention.  They estimate that about 18% is currently redistributed, with food from the retail sector accounting for about five percent of the total volume of redistributed food and the remainder coming from manufacturing. The WRAP report also considers that at least half of all the surplus could be considered ‘readily redistributable’,  while the rest is more challenging because of its shorter life or need for repackaging.  The aim is to increase the volume of surplus food that is redistributed by about four times the current amount (from 47,000 tonnes to 185,000 tonnes); to an equivalent of approximately 360 million meals per year by 2025.  Achieving this goal will involve a doubling of the amount of food that is redistributed from retail to consumers. One of the recommendations of the report is the development of improved guidance and partnership tools that would facilitate food redistribution. Continue reading

Neoliberalism and the making of food as waste–or–The need to reframe the debate from food waste to food surplus

I seem to do a lot of talks and in doing so sometimes this involves reshaping and thinking further about talks I have given in the past.  On Monday I presented at the Annual Symposium held by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield.  There were many papers that I felt sat well next to each other.  I particularly could see the synergies between my presentation and that of John Miller, who is in the English Department, who talked about natural capital and the humanities. Value was a central part of his discussion and I thought it well with my text.   This text is a revised version of what I presented earlier this year at West Town Farm as part of the IBG meetings.  
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