Monday 16th July 2018
WRAP, the government’s waste advisory body has awarded us the largest grant in our history to trial an innovation designed by two members of our team. Last August Gareth Batty, Chief Executive and Jonathan Williams, Office & Development Manager created a 26-page plan to tackle needless food waste through creating the UK Food Industry’s first ever regional logistics solution for food surplus. From September 2018 they will be able to put their plan into action in partnership with Fareshare Hull & Humber and FareShare UK. The plan involves deploying a 7.5 tonne lorry and hiring a full-time driver and logistics manager. The aim by month 12 is to collect 85 tonnes from businesses who can’t deliver food surplus to one of our regional centres but have small amounts on a regular basis and are happy for us to collect them. This includes handballed produce from farms and manufacturers, half pallets left after order picking in distribution centres and a whole range of good, wholesome food that will no longer go to waste for the sake of lacking a suitable logistics solution. We aim to prove that once fully established, this innovation could redistribute over 1,000 additional tonnes of food a year. Food that would otherwise have gone to waste due to the time delay in scheduling delivery or because our vans can only fit a quarter of the stock.
Gareth Batty, Chief Executive at FareShare Yorkshire told reporters “I’m delighted that WRAP agreed to Fund FareShare Yorkshire’s innovative new approach to intercepting surplus food from local manufacturers using our own 7.5T vehicle. There are many food manufacturers in Yorkshire keen to support vulnerable people, who currently can’t donate everything due to the lack of a local and timely logistics solution. Often, Stock from regional manufacturers cannot be collected in full via national logistics as it can take 48 hours to reach its destination, losing limited shelf life. This trial enables us to test an innovative approach and in Yorkshire alone, our same-day collection solutions could allow more than 1,100 additional tonnes of surplus to be intercepted every year. We’re excited about the opportunity to provide a solution for regional food businesses that benefits community groups – and which can potentially be replicated UK-wide.”
Jonathan Williams added “We were worried that it might take years for an organisation to help us make this dream a reality but for WRAP to recognise its potential and fund a full trial within a year of it’s conception was a massive boost to us. This will make a huge difference to our volunteer team who want to help as many vulnerable people as possible and the many organisations waiting to access our membership. Taking an evironmental problem and turning it into a social solution has always been our goal for the last 19.5 years, but this logistics solution will drastically affect regional food waste and impact massively on those who need help the most.”