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I think it’s fair to say that there has been a lot of doom and gloom around the industry of late, with our period of political uncertainty becoming seemingly perpetually protracted, and a couple of truly tragic cases involving food labelling (or the lack thereof). Therefore, it stuck out like the proverbial mashed digit when some heartening news popped into my inbox recently.

The copy I received of the recent Wasted Opportunity Report has found that, via its commendable work collecting food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributing it to charity and community groups, FareShare creates approximately £50.9m of, what it calls, ‘social-economic impact’ each year. This figure comprises a whopping £6.9m in social value to the beneficiaries themselves and a further £44m in savings to the state.

This activity means that FareShare is already largest charity fighting hunger and food waste in the UK. However, determined not to rest on its laurels, the report goes on to say that if they, and other charities, were able to scale up their operational capacity in order to handle 50% of the surplus food available in the UK supply chain, the value back to the state could rise to as much as £500m per year.

The organisation’s chief executive Lindsay Boswell commented: “The cost saved is a staggering £51m every year, and that’s with us accessing just 5% of the surplus food available. Imagine what we could do if we could get more of it.”

I know contract caterers take their CRS commitments extremely seriously these days, and I’m sure many, many are already signed up to schemes such as this one. But, with homelessness and the use of food banks both sadly on the rise, if you are able to help them push towards their target, please go to https://fareshare.org.uk for more information on how to get involved in this superb scheme.

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