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First ‘food waste supermarket’ launched

The UK’s first ‘food waste supermarket has been launched in Leeds.

Set up in December 2013 by chef Adam Smith, charity The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) has opened food waste cafes over the last three years where customers pay for their meals in money or in exhange for time or skills.

In August, the charity moved its main UK food waste storage warehouse to Grange Field Industrial Estate, near Pudsey recycling centre, and for the first time decided to temporarily open its doors to the public.

Following the trial’s success, the warehouse is now open seven days a week, nine to five.

On social media, it posted: “There is tons of perfectly edible food to be taken on a pay-as-you-feel basis, from chilled products, to bread, fruit & veg, to dry goods. We also have a selection of clothes, Bric-a-brac, crockery & kitchen equipment.”

TRJFP plans to open similar sites in across the UK, with London and other Yorkshire cities such as Sheffield and Bradford mooted.

Produce is donated by major supermarkets and caomes from other sources including allotments, food banks, restaurants, cafes, food photographers, events and functions.

The Evening Standard has been campaigning to encourage London supermarkets to donate more of their unsold food to charities.

It reported that UK supermarkets dispose of 115,000 tonnes of edible food each year, most of which is sent to anaerobic digestion plants.

It has launched its Felix Project, to transport fresh produce from suppliers to charities for free.

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