Sainsbury’s is celebrating 20 years of Fareshare – the food donation network it founded with homelessness charity Crisis – with a brand new summit that sees fresh fruit and veg donated directly by the UK’s major food producers.
LONDON, 2014-12-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — The summit – launching officially on Monday 8th December – was created last year with heavyweight fruit and vegetable suppliers including Mack and Thanet Earth, which form part of the Fresca Group, the UK’s largest independent fresh produce supplier.
As a result, over a million meals of fresh fruit and vegetables have been donated directly from the field by supermarket’s fruit and vegetable producers so far.
It’s made Sainsbury’s the first retailer in the UK to get suppliers working with food charities direct.
Mark Varney, Director of Food for Fareshare said: “Sainsbury’s has shown strong leadership in its own operation through its food donations – so we’re delighted that they’re encouraging suppliers to do the same.
“Through the summit, our charity partners have received an extra 495 tonnes of fruit and vegetables – nutrition they so desperately require to offer balanced meals to people who really need them.”
Fresca Fresh Produce Operations Director Tim Espley said: “By the very nature of our products there will always be a certain amount we can’t pack for a retailer but which is still perfectly edible. Instead of sending it for composting or animal feed, we prefer to work with Fareshare where we can.
“It has involved us changing practices in our packing factories and our warehouses but it’s very rewarding to hear feedback from the charitiy on how valued our products are.
“The run up to Christmas is our busiest period but working together with Fareshare we’ll be donating as much as we can to support their work.”
Head of Sustainability Paul Crewe said: “Sainsbury’s has pioneered retailer food donations for twenty years. But we wanted to do even more.
“By linking in our major suppliers we’ve created an entirely new way to help those who are in need – particularly offering more crucial nutrition through fruit and veg.
“This isn’t about donating a few dented cans – this is a huge process that makes sure that every bit of surplus food that’s fit for human consumption in our supply chain gets to people who need it.”
Notes to editors
FareShare was co-founded by Sainsbury’s and homeless charity Crisis in 1994 and operated as a division of Crisis for 10 years. Fareshare supports 1,711 local charities and community projects across the UK including breakfast and afterschool clubs for vulnerable children, lunch clubs for elderly people living in isolation, homeless hostels, drop in centres for people recovering from addictions and charities helping people with mental health issues, physical disabilities and health related issues. Through its charity members Fareshare are helping to feed over 82,000 people every day, redistributing more than 6,400 tonnes of food a year which helps to provide around 13.2 million meals a year.
Donating fruit and veg
Sainsbury’s has become the first retailer that encouraged its suppliers to work with FareShare and authorised them to divert own branded surplus products to the charity’s network.
Since April 2013 and as a direct result of these introductions to suppliers by Sainsbury’s, FareShare has captured over 495 tonnes of surplus fresh produce from fresh produce suppliers that would otherwise be considered waste. This has been instrumental in providing valuable nutritional products to vulnerable people accessing food at projects supplied by FareShare.
FareShare’s partnership with Sainsbury’s is helping the business to reduce the amount of surplus food and the associated costs involved of returning surplus stock back through the supply chain. In addition, Sainsbury’s works closely with suppliers to encourage the reduction on surplus products appearing, resulting in a more effective and efficient supply chain overall.
Sainsbury’s is a zero waste to landfill retailer and all food fit for human consumption that isn’t sold in stores goes to charity partners. Sainsbury’s also runs ‘ugly fruit and veg‘ campaigns in store to help customers.
Fresca Group’s Thanet Earth
Sainsbury’s were instrumental in linking FareShare with fresh produce supplier Thanet Earth. This has meant that since 2013, FareShare has received good quality fresh surplus tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers from Thanet Earth’s greenhouses in Kent.
When spare product becomes available and it’s perfectly good for eating they now offer it to FareShare. FareShare then redistribute it to charities across the UK who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people.
By encouraging Thanet Earth to work with FareShare, Sainsbury’s have unlocked a substantial source of surplus vegetables for people in need in the UK.