Food waste or food loss is food that is discarded or lost or uneaten. The causes of food waste or loss are numerous, and occur at the stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption.
“If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the U.S. On a planet of finite resources, with the expectation of at least two billion more residents by 2050, this profligacy is obscene.” – Tristram Stuart
Too Good to Waste . . . in Greater Manchester
FareShare Greater Manchester has teamed up with New Smithfield Market to save good food from going to waste at the North West’s largest wholesale market.
Every month at least 200 tonnes of surplus fruit and vegetables are sent for composting or animal feed from New Smithfield Market in East Manchester. At least 10% of this food is fit for human consumption and has quite acceptable quality. At the same time, thousands of Manchester residents on low incomes struggle to access fresh food.
FareShare Greater Manchester’s Too Good to Waste initiative captures at least two tonnes of this food each week. Volunteers quality control it and then redistribute it to charities, schools and food banks tackling poverty in Greater Manchester. Staff at charities and schools turn the fresh produce into nutritious meals.
As of 2013, half of all food is wasted worldwide. Loss and wastage occurs at all stages of the food supply chain or value chain In low-income countries, most loss occurs during production, while in developed countries much food – about 100 kilograms (220 lb) per person per year – is wasted at the consumption stage.The average UK household throws away the equivalent of six meals every week*, costing us as a nation £12.5 billion a year, or almost £60 a month to the average family, despite a significant drive to reduce food waste.