Media opportunities for gleaning

What is gleaning?

In a nutshell, gleaning involves gathering fresh produce from farms that would otherwise be wasted.

Feedback’s Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, farmers and food redistribution charities to salvage the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on farms every year across the UK and Europe, and direct this fresh, nutritious food to people in need.

Media Contact: For more info, contact

Press release: Click here to download a press release about gleaning

What media opportunities can gleaning offer?

  1. Photos/filming of the gleaning day: Journalists are welcome to join us in the fields, to cover the stunning visuals of the food wasted on farms, as well as volunteers in action harvesting the food for charity.
  2. Photos/filming with our charity recipients: After the gleaning day, the tasty fruit and veg is redistributed to people in need through charities like FoodCycle and FareShare – there may be opportunities to film the produce being cooked and served in the community.
  3. Good food waste media source: Looking for great food waste news stories throughout the year? Feedback is an expert on all things food waste, so can be available for comment on food waste policy developments, are a great source of regular news on food waste, and have numerous food waste initiatives we can keep you updated on like Feeding the 5000, Disco Soups, The Pig Idea campaign and many more
  4. Interviews with food waste experts & farmers: Interview our food policy experts about food wasted on farms, or speak to farmers directly about the food they are often forced to waste.
  5. Interviews with volunteers: Interview volunteers about their experiences of gleaning
  6. Photos: We have a vast array of photos of gleaning, food waste on farms, and fun wonky fruit & veg in our archives. You can see a sample of some of the best on facebook – please email for permission to use these photos or for hi-res versions.
  7. Fun linkable content: Why not feature some of our fun pre-made content – like our TEDx talk or our promo video?

Gleaning in the media: Gleaning has been featured by TEDxAl JazeeraThe Guardian (2013), The Independent, The TimesJamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night FeastHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River CottageBBC Radio 4’s Costing the EarthBBC Radio 4’s The Food ProgrammeBBC NewsThe Big IssueThe Guardian (2015), The Guardian (video)The Evening Standard and the Huffington Post, as well as numerous features on local TV and radio for BBC and ITV amongst others.


When do Feedback glean?

Gleaning season is primarily from May to November.

Where do Feedback glean?

Gleaning currently occurs around 5 key hubs: Kent, Sussex, East England (covering Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire), London (covering counties surrounding London like Essex), West England (covering Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire) and North West (covering mainly Lancashire).

How much food is wasted on farms?

Good question!  Nobody knows exactly how much food is wasted on farms because it’s been largely overlooked and not measured as well as other food waste, but there’s little doubt it’s colossal. WRAP’s rough estimate is that is is 3 million tonnes, which would mean that there is approximately 15 times more food wasted on farms than at retail level – they are gathering more accurate data by 2018.

We’ve encountered farms who are wasting 25,000 cauliflowers per week, carrot producers who have to compost 25% of their entire crop, and numerous farms with whole fields of produce going to waste.

Why does so much food waste occur at farm level?

Farms are often bearing the brunt of the risks and costs of food waste. Farmers are caught between many factors like variable weather, volatile consumer demand, and perhaps most importantly, supermarket policies.

3 supermarket policies that cause waste to occur

  1. Supermarkets incentivize overproduction – By penalizing farmers when they run short of produce, supermarkets often incentivise overproduction but then often don’t take on gluts when there is a good year – supermarkets need to be more flexible and respond to seasonal gluts.
  2. Supermarkets regularly cosmetically out-grade farmer’s produce – rejecting produce that’s the wrong size, shape or appearance, but is perfectly nutritious and delicious to eat.
  3. Supermarkets sometimes change their orders at the last minute – dramatically reducing quantities from one week to the next – when they find a better deal with a different supplier