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Food Banks

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL17755, tabled on 5 September 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with food retailers about providing food and other products that would otherwise have to go to landfill sites to food banks; and what plans they have to encourage (1) food retailers to participate in, and (2) the further development of, such provision.

Answered on

9 September 2019

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

We continue to work with key stakeholders across the food chain to overcome the barriers to redistribution and explore solutions through The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), supported by funding from Defra.

All large retailers have relationships with redistribution organisations and we have seen a large increase in redistribution which has almost doubled since 2015 (96% increase), or an additional £81 million of food equivalent to an extra 65 million meals a year. This has been helped by a 63% increase in supply of food from major retailers in recent years.

There is still more that can be done, the Government announced in October 2018 a £15m pilot fund for 2019/20 that aims to increase the redistribution of surplus food through a series of grant opportunities. The winners of which will be announced later in the year. We have already awarded £4.2 million of this fund to projects.

In line with its commitment in the Resources and Waste Strategy the Government has also appointed Ben Elliot as its Food Waste Reduction Champion. He has been meeting - and continues to work with - business leaders from restaurants and large food retailers to further develop solutions to prevent good food from being wasted.

Original answer

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.