Government announces £1.15m food waste fund
The government has announced a £1.15-million fund to help businesses and not-for-profits develop innovative ways to reduce the amount of food thrown away.
Unveiled yesterday (30 January), grants will be available to businesses that find creative ways to tackle food waste, for example, by changing consumer behaviour or retaining the value of food waste by turning it into a new product.
With the UK government pledging to reduce food waste by 20 per cent by 2025, the funding comes alongside plans to mandate weekly collections of food waste for every household, laid out in yesterday’s Environment Bill.
Yesterday’s announcement is the latest in a series of government grants to target food waste – the Food Waste Reduction Fund introduced in 2018 prevented nearly 2,000 tonnes of surplus food from going to waste.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow commented: “The UK is a proud world leader in tackling food waste, owing in part to the innovation and creativity of many organisations across the UK – from educating the public on food waste in our homes, to making our supply chains greener.
“I look forward to supporting UK organisations who are taking up the mantle to tackle food waste and to create a better world for ourselves, as well as generations to come. It makes sense in every way – it cuts collection costs, saves the customer money and importantly reduces emissions which benefits the environment.”
Launching the new fund, government Food Waste Champion Ben Elliot also announced that a ‘Food Waste Action Week’ will be taking place in May 2020 to encourage households and businesses across the country to reduce their food wastage.
Elliot commented: “The country’s first-ever Food Waste Action Week will be taking place from Monday 11 May and I encourage and implore everyone to get stuck in, joining together and taking the fight to food waste. More details will be provided shortly on what we must all do to reduce food waste at home and at work.”
The £1.15-million funding will be split into two small-scale grants: The Citizen Food Waste Prevention grant (worth £650,000) and the Value from Food grant (worth £500,000). These grants will both be managed by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which works closely with governments, businesses and citizens to reduce food waste, for example by running awareness campaigns such as its Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
Last Friday (24 January), WRAP launched its latest progress report for the Courtauld Commitment 2025 – a voluntary initiative aiming to improve the sustainability of food production – revealing that food waste has fallen by seven per cent per person in three years.
Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP, commented: “WRAP is pleased to be managing the Resource Action Fund on behalf of Defra. We are looking forward to receiving applications from innovative and imaginative programmes and projects that will have a real impact in reducing the level of food waste in our homes and making sure we get more value from food waste in supply chains – priorities for both WRAP and Defra.”
You can find more information and download a grant application pack on the WRAP website.