Surplus food redistribution

Preventing food waste is a key priority for the food & drink sector, governments and individuals.  Whilst preventing food waste at source should always come first, surpluses can arise for a number of reasons; for example, food could be incorrectly labelled, over-ordered, over-supplied or obsolete seasonal stock.

WRAP has been working with retailers and manufacturers, logistics and redistribution organisations together with industry bodies, to identify ways of increasing the beneficial use of surplus food.

Below are a series of tools and case studies to help retailers and manufacturers redistribute surplus food for human consumption or, when that’s not possible, to look at animal feed opportunities.

Guiding principles for redistribution

A WRAP-led Food Redistribution Industry Working Group developed four simple principles to help increase food redistribution without impacting on food safety or brand integrity.  These principles are useful for retailers and manufacturers who are developing a policy on redistribution.

Framework for effective redistribution partnerships

This guide and set of templates provide straightforward advice on how to establish efficient and effective partnerships between surplus food providers and receivers. For those who have not already entered into partnerships, everything is here for you. For those organisations that already have their own systems in place, the Redistribution Framework may offer additional elements that could be incorporated into existing arrangements to increase effectiveness.

The Redistribution Framework includes:

  1. model framework
  2. templates to make partnerships as effective as possible: 
  3. examples of foods that can be redistributed
  4. a summary of the legal aspects around food redistribution

Examples of redistribution in practice

  • WRAP Cymru partnered with J Sainsbury’s in Cardiff to undertake a back-of-store pilot project working with two local charities to make use of the surplus food. In addition to the case study, there are simple “how to” guides for both retailers and charities and suggested templates.
  • Read about a trial involving two redistribution charities, FareShare and FoodCycle, and several major retailers to understand the barriers to redistributing surpluses and work to find practical solutions.  See examples from The Company Shop, FareShare, The Co-operative, Kellogs and Tesco.
  • Learn how Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has successfully tackled the problem of surplus soft drink products, diverting them away from anaerobic digestion (AD), to redistribution and animal feed.

If it can’t go to humans, can it go to animals?

WRAP has developed a Guidance Note to help businesses identify surplus food that can be used as an ingredient in animal feed.  Feed business operators have formed the UK Former Foodstuffs Processors Association (UKFFPA) to provide a focal point for the industry.

We will be publishing a more comprehensive guide in May 2016.

Further information

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