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Coffey launches food distribution fund

Resources to boost food waste diversion became available today as the Government opened its £15m pot of funding for redistribution organisations.

Initially, £5m will be available to organisations in England that redistribute surplus food going to waste that could be eaten if it could get to those that need it.

Around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food is currently redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers each year. However, it is estimated that another 100,000 tonnes, or 250 million meals, of edible food is going to energy from waste, anaerobic digestion or animal feed.

This follows the appointment by Defra of Ben Elliot, co-founder of luxury lifestyle company Quintessentially, at the start of the year as food surplus and waste champion.

Resources minister Therese Coffey said: ”It is absolutely right that we end the scandal of food waste and this substantial funding will help that to happen.

”We want to build on the great work already being done by businesses, charities and volunteers. Perfectly good food should be on people’s plates and not unnecessarily discarded.

“The fund is open to organisations that receive surplus food to distribute to those who have a need in England. Applicants will need to show how they will help food businesses to reduce their surplus in the long term.”

The £15m pilot scheme funding was first announced in October last year as a means of overcoming the financial obstacles to surplus food redistribution.

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