When we launched our Regional Logistics Solution (RLS) in 2018, our aim was to provide food companies with a speedy, reliable service to move their surplus food from A to B. It grew out of a pressing need to overcome lots of logistical and time pressures that often made redistribution impossible. We wanted to intercept an additional 25 tonnes of in-date food each month, preventing food from going to landfill when it could be go to hundreds of Community Food Members (CFMs).
Three years on, we are doing just that and more. Our transport solution – led by our 7.5 tonne lorry – has intercepted 840 tonnes of surplus food and drink, enabling somewhere in the region of 2 million additional meals among our CFMs. It also gives the charities we support access to more varied stock, whether that’s ambient, chilled, fresh or, more recently, frozen.
Since 2018 we’ve had over 100 partner food sites support us across Yorkshire and the North of England, providing food with an estimated retail value of £1.25 million. They have supported us with a huge array of stock, from milk to meat and pasta to peas. An astonishing 255 tonnes of that was fresh fruit and vegetables.
The last 3 years have seen over 82,000 miles driven to collect surplus stock (that’s the equivalent of going up the Amazon River 20 times!). Exciting new partnerships unlocked by our solution have enabled us to access more dairy and bakery foods than ever before and our newest warehouse, the Yorkshire Storage Hub, has also really benefitted. The launch of its dedicated frozen provision in February 2021 was boosted because we are able to collect frozen surplus like bagels, meat, vegetables and ice cream in our lorry.
Jonathan Williams, Head of Development, said: “The HGV driver crisis has impacted FareShare Yorkshire significantly and means that our transport solution is busier than ever before. Without it the crisis would have had a devastating impact on our ability to support our wonderful partners across Yorkshire. We are immensely grateful to Hannah, Andy, Terry, Duncan and James who have all worked so hard to make the transport solution the success it is today. Their efforts have enabled us to support many more charities and give them access to the widest possible range of surplus food.”