The FIA team visited FareShare’s Leeds warehouse to assist with sorting, weighing and labelling crates of donated food ready to go out to charities.

FareShare redistribute surplus in-date and good to eat food to charities who turn it into meals. Last year they managed to save 13,552 tonnes of food which would otherwise go to waste.

Yesterday we visited their Leeds warehouse to lend a helping hand sorting, weighing and labelling crates of donated food from Aldi.

Peter, Project Coordinator for Leeds, and Sue, a dedicated volunteer, showed us the ropes and gave us a fantastic insight into how they are tackling food waste and helping charities.

In addition to the numerous charities that benefit from their work, FareShare also offers an important programme for unemployed people to gain skills, experience and qualifications needed to get into work.

After sorting over a hundred crates, we were shocked to see the amount of food that would have otherwise gone to landfill had FareShare not been around to find it a better outcome.  We were coming across crisps, biscuits, drinks and cereal with expiry dates well into next year, and food you would happily pay full price for on a supermarket shelf.

Unfortunately, waste is a massive issue in the food industry.  Last month The Grocer announced Supermarket giants are set to release data on how much each of them wastes each year (read more here), a success of their Waste Not Want Not campaign.

Whilst it is fantastic charities such as FareShare are around to re-distribute food waste, it is obvious Supermarkets still need to do more to prevent over production and cut down waste at the source.

Many food companies are now starting to commit to programmes which ensure going forward surplus food isn’t sent to landfill.  Recently, leading cheese manufacturer Lactalis McLelland have partnered with FareShare to guarantee excess stock is distributed to vulnerable people.

Through our day’s volunteering we’ve learnt a great deal about the valuable work Pete, Sue and the team of volunteers do at FareShare and it has opened our eyes further to the problems of food waste within the industry.

We strongly encourage our clients who often find themselves with surplus food to think twice before sending it to landfill and get in touch with nationwide charities such as FareShare to help charities in need.