Category: News

The food waste champion with a blind spot on regulation to prevent food waste

22nd Oct 18 by fb_admin

If this Swedish MEP is so worried about food waste, why is she supporting supermarket pressure to block legislation to address it?

Two years ago we wrote a blog about Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, a Swedish MEP. In many ways, she’s a food waste champion with great credentials – she runs a food waste campaign in Sweden and has contributed to a report on how more efficient food chains can help tackle waste.

But it seems her activism only goes so far – two years ago she was involved in an attept to block a European Parliament declaration calling for the kind of regulation that would really help to tackle food waste: laws preventing large food businesses like supermarkets from using their market power to force farmers to waste food, for example by cancelling their orders at the last minute when they decide they can’t sell it (Feedback’s investigations of these ‘unfair trading practices’ found they were rife in both national and international supply chains). You can find out about some of the ways Unfair Trading Practices both cause food waste and undermine efforts to reduce waste through industry voluntary agreements in the research of the EU project REFRESH.

Despite the best efforts of Corazza Bildt and some of her colleagues in the European People’s Party, the 2016 vote was a landslide, with MEPs calling for action on unfair practices: as we type a draft law to outlaw many of the unfair practices which can cause huge volumes of food waste is on the brink of gong through the final rounds of negotiation by European lawmakers.

But it seems Corazza Bildt and co are at it again – this time trying to delay the progress of the law, which  could mean this law goes back on the shelf, especially with time tight before the next round of European Parliament elections.

This EU law has been welcome by food waste groups, farmers and those who are worried about unfair treatment of farmers in developing countries – the only groups resisting the law, unsurprisingly, are supermarkets and their backers in the European Parliament. We’re so close to real progress on regulating our food supply chain to protect the people who produce our food, it would be a catastrophe if momentum was undermined now.

Now’s the time for a final push to help this law over the finish line, and help farmers waste less food across Europe and beyond. We’re calling on all MEPs, including Anna Maria Corazza Bildt and her colleagues in the European People’s Party, to support this law.

You can read our article from back in 2016 below.


A public outcry sparked the European Parliament to look into investigating unfair trading practices by supermarkets, whose strong market power allows them to cause farmers to waste food. The European Parliament is debating the creation of an EU-coordinated network of national enforcement authorities to prevent unfair trading practices from occuring. Disappointingly, one European Parliament member – who is usually an ally in the fight against food waste – is blocking this much-needed legislation.

The European Parliament is drafting amendments to a report that could determine whether or not Europe will implement legislation to prevent unfair trading practices (UTPs). Previous drafts of the report have highlighted the clear correlation between unfair trading practices and the overproduction and food waste they cause. These previous drafts called for a European framework and effective legislation to prevent UTPs across Europe, acknowledging the inadequacy of voluntary frameworks like the Pan-European Supply Chain Initiative in effectively preventing these issues.

Over a million people have signed Feedback’s petition calling on national leaders to establish authorities to investigate supermarkets’ unfair treatment of suppliers to prevent good food from going to waste because of UTPs.

However, despite widespread support for such legislation, Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt is actively working to block such proposals in the final round of amendments. Corazza Bildt instead wants an industry-led Supply Chain Initiative as a means for preventing UTPs, despite its track record for being ineffective in addressing UTPs and the climate of fear suppliers currently operate under.

amcb
Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt runs a food waste campaign called ‘Basta Till Matsvinnet’

Corazza Bildt continues to lead a personal campaign against food waste. The MEP was also a key contributor to a previous European report focused on developing strategies for a more efficient food chain in the EU in order to avoid food waste. Given this track record, her fight against this legislation is a disappointing departure from the her previous commitments. By blocking recommendations for crucial legislation that would contribute significantly to reducing food waste in Europe’s food chain, she betrays her legacy of incisive work on the intersection of food waste and public policy.

Feedback’s research in countries as diverse as Kenya, Guatemala and the UK has demonstrated how large amounts of food is wasted as a result of unfair trading practices by European retailers. Last minute order cancellations and retrospective amendments to supply agreements often leave farmers with no secondary markets on which to sell their produce. When this happens the farmers receive no compensation and are forced to dump their produce.

Preventative legislation against UTPs would protect suppliers, in particular farmers, who currently face uncertain and risky trading conditions in order to supply products to Europe’s major retailers. Under such legislation, European retailers would risk penalties and fines for malpractice towards their suppliers, as they do under legislation empowering the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA). Crucially, the European legislation would create a level playing field across the single market to ensure that effective regulation is in place across European borders to protect suppliers and ultimately consumers as well.

Feedback are calling on Anna Maria Corazza Bildt to lead the European People’s Party in supporting legislative measures to prevent unfair trading practices in Europe by voting for an EU-coordinated network of national-level enforcers. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt has the opportunity on the 21st April to vote in favour of legislation and in doing so will be following a number of other cross-party MEPs.

To members of the European People’s Party: Preventing UTPs in Europe’s food supply chain is one of the most effective ways to curtail overproduction and the wastage of good food and finite agricultural resources. We call on you to take decisive action to support legislation to establish a EU-coordinated network of national-level enforcers to prevent unfair trading practices.

The vote on the 21st April is an opportunity for the European Parliament to stop the European Commission dragging its heels with regards to taking action against UTPs and food waste and Feedback look to the entire European Parliament to push for effective legislation.

__________________________________________________________

@European citizens: want to take action? Tweet this article at MEPs from #EPP (European People’s Party) and make them know that you want a fairer food supply chain.

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Are people who shop at Waitrose to blame for food waste?

20th Jun 18 by Dan Woolley, Head of Pilot Programmes

Read our response to Rachel McCormack's recent opinion piece in the Guardian about our latest report on supermarket food waste.

Anyone reading Rachel McCormack’s recent opinion piece in the Guardian could be forgiven for failing to reach a conclusion, on this and other matters, as she seems to be offering unanswered questions on a buy-one-get-one-free basis. Are supermarkets still liable for the food they give away? What are the legal and logistical realities of giving away highly perishable goods? Are people no longer capable of knowing when a yoghurt has gone off?

If the author’s central argument – that shoppers, not supermarkets, are primarily responsible for food waste – is somewhat overstated, some valid points are made along the way. For example, there is undoubtedly much truth in the claim that “most of us who live in urban or suburban areas have come to expect shelves consistently heaving with fresh produce right up until closing time.” This illusion, through which we are asked to believe in an endless abundance of (cosmetically perfect) food, is now commonplace. However, if I might be allowed a few rhetorical questions of my own: is this really driven by consumer expectation? Or might it be in the interests of supermarkets to create and maintain this illusion? Which came first – the battery farmed chicken or the value range eggs?

In truth, supermarkets are all too aware of the influence they have on our behaviour, which is why they spend astronomical sums each year on advertising, marketing and promotions. As we note in the introduction to our report: Supermarkets shape how much food we buy, how we store and cook it, and what food products are available to us, in what form. It is no overstatement to say that supermarkets shape the UK’s food culture – and the enormous amounts of food waste generated by British households. With our supermarkets beholden above all else to their external shareholders, the search for ever-increasing profits drives every decision: despite the fact that there’s only so much food we can eat, or fit in our fridges, today’s supermarket chief exec is practically duty-bound to sell us more food than we need.

“The report also criticised all supermarkets for overzealous best-before dates that lead to millions of pounds’ worth of needless food waste. Are we so distrusting of our own instincts to know when a yoghurt has gone off that we rely on the date on the lid?” It’s not quite clear at this point what the author herself is criticising: is it the best before dates or the feckless shoppers? Or the supermarkets? Or is she criticising our report for criticising supermarkets over their continued use of best before dates?

Whoever is being criticised, there’s good news. Following years of campaigning by Feedback and our allies, best before dates have failed to pass the sniff test and supermarkets are steadily beginning to remove these dates from their packaged fruits and vegetable ranges. (Hopefully, inspired by this small victory, the packaged fruits and vegetables will soon rise up and cast off their plastic chains). Another recent campaign win for the food waste movement is the removal of offers such as ‘buy one get one free’ on fresh produce.

There are many things, however, that still don’t belong in the bin – such as the thousands of tonnes of perfectly edible food that could easily be redistributed to charities and community groups. And here we arrive at the author’s most worrying conclusion: “donating the food to breakfast clubs for children in deprived areas, refugee kitchen spaces, or volunteer kitchens that work alongside food banks would be a PR disaster.”

The actions of the leading supermarkets point strongly in the other direction. In 2017, Tesco, the UK’s leading supermarket, donated almost 8,000 tonnes of food to charities such as FareShare (who received a total of 17,000 tonnes from multiple donors). Asda announced a £20 million fund to facilitate the redistribution of food through FareShare and Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network. The real PR disaster, a public storm that has continually gathered strength since the publication of our founder Tristram Stuart’s book, Wasted, in 2009, are the photos of supermarket bins overflowing with perfectly good food. Worse is the food that we never see, that is diposed off behind the scenes in digestors that produce bio-gas – if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that food is first and foremost for eating, not for energy production.

If there is one point on which Rachel McCormack and I strongly agree, it’s this: “we need to demand that they (the supermarkets) do more to tackle food waste. But we should also rethink our own expectations of and demands on supermarkets.” Yes. We have a role to play. We can vote with our feet and we can vote with our wallets. We don’t have to shop at Waitrose. We don’t have to shop at supermarkets whose actions lead to so much wasted food. In fact, we don’t have to shop at supermarkets at all.

And yes, let’s think about our expectations and demands. Here’s my first suggestion for the list: let’s stop thinking of ourselves as shoppers, or consumers, and see ourselves instead as active and conscientious citizens who want to be involved in building fairer and more sustainable food systems; ‘to shape our choices, not merely choose between them.’ I borrowed those final words from the inspiring and innovative thinking within Food Citizenship: it’s a good place to start. In the meantime, Feedback will continue to hold the supermarkets to account.

 

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Waitrose, Co-op and Marks & Spencer trailing other retailers

14th Jun 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

Despite many laudable initiatives to tackle food waste, supermarkets are so far failing to successfully reduce waste.

We ranked the UK’s top ten supermarkets based on publicly available information on their work to reduce food waste. Our ranking assessed the supermarkets against the food use hierarchy which requires that prevention be the priority towards tackling waste.

Tesco is ranked at number one, while Waitrose came out at the bottom of the pack. Other supermarkets known for their strong reputations on sustainability, including Co-op and Marks & Spencer, also scored poorly. The ranking assessed the supermarkets against four categories of best practice in addressing waste. The categories included: action to prevent food waste, such as measuring and publishing data on food waste in their supply chain and adopting targets to cut waste; action to make sure that edible surplus food reaches people in need through charities, rather than being thrown away; action to redirect suitable inedible food surplus to be made into animal feed; action to avoid edible food being used to produce bio-gas instead of being eaten. The principles of this best practice are enshrined in UK law under the Waste Regulations 2011, which require all businesses to make reasonable efforts to address their surplus and waste according to the waste hierarchy.

Initiatives by Tesco that ensured they scored highly include:

  • The first supermarket to publish third party audited food waste data.
  • The first supermarket to sign up to the Sustainable Development Goal of halving food
    waste from farm to fork by 2030.
  • Committed to extending transparency to include measurement of food waste in its
    supply chain.
  • Significantly increased quantity of food redistributed to people in need; donated 7975
    tonnes in 2017/17 representing a 40% increase on the previous year.
  • Working to help suppliers reduce food waste through initiatives such as marketing
    seasonal produce, creating a food waste hotline for suppliers and whole crop
    purchasing.

Waitrose scored poorly on the waste scorecard:

  • Provides limited public data on food waste figures.
  • Redistributing small quantities of food in comparison to other retailers – Waitrose does not provide a total figure in tonnes concerning how much food is redistributed.
  • No programme for sending permissible food surplus to animal feed.

Waitrose did not perform dramatically worse most other retailers. We found that supermarkets are largely failing to get to grips with their waste, with aggregate figures for the industry finding food waste reduction has plateaued at around 200,000 tonnes since 2013. Waitrose and other supermarkets, including Co-op and Asda, lost points for failing to publicly provide either a headline figure or a comprehensive break down of where and how their food waste arose, and what they did with surplus food.

The scoring called into question whether retailers are implementing the waste hierarchy, which is a requirement under UK waste regulations but is currently unenforced. Data from the only supermarket which provides detailed statistics, Tesco, showed that large quantities of edible food, nearly 20,000 tonnes in 2017, were being used to produce bio-gas rather than feed people. The charity FareShare has been calling for government to offset the costs of charitable redistribution of food to ensure more surplus food reaches people in need. In addition, very few supermarkets were found to be making best use of inedible food waste, some of which can be made into animal feed.

Supermarkets also lost points in the ranking for their failure to acknowledge and address the ways in which their marketing and sales tactics cause food waste in the home, by encouraging people to buy more food than they need. Issues included special offers which encourage over-purchasing and removing confusing and unnecessary ‘best before’ labels.

Despite many laudable initiatives to tackle food waste, supermarkets are so far failing to successfully reduce waste in their stores, supply chains and customers’ homes. Our research has revealed that despite leadership from a few retailers, many lag behind on the most basic steps to further their food waste reduction, such as publishing transparent data and converting food surplus to animal feed. In addition, none of the supermarkets are truly getting to grips with how their marketing and sales tactics cause waste in their customers’ homes. This begs the question – is a ‘waste-free’ supermarket possible? The current evidence suggests that supermarkets’ business models, ownership structure and market clout inherently lead to waste generation from farm to fork. This report is a challenge to supermarkets to show us that their business model is not synonymous with food waste and that they can be part of a less wasteful food system that nourishes the planet.

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Alternative World Milk Day

31st May 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

It takes 1000 litres of water to produce just one litre of milk. Yet in the UK, milk is cheaper to buy than water.

Today is World Milk Day – who knew right?

 

It takes 1000 litres of water to produce just one litre of milk. Yet in the UK, milk is cheaper to buy than water. And every year we pour 500 million pints of the stuff down the drain – often because overly cautious date labels mean that we think it’s gone bad when it’s still good to drink.

That doesn’t sound like cause for celebration to us.

Instead, here are four ideas to celebrate World Milk Day the Feedback way.

  • Step 1: Don’t buy milk. Already got some in your fridge that needs drinking? Don’t buy more, drink up what you have already!
  • Step 2: Perfect your ‘sniff test’ – no need to rely on the ‘use by’ date (which is probably too cautious if you keep your fridge at the recommended 6 degrees) when you have a good nose and know how to use it.
  • Step 3: Think about where you buy – can you support your local food economy by buying from a local milkman or independent farm, rather than getting your milk in the supermarket isles? Reuseable glass milk bottles = less plastic waste!
  • Step 4: Consider alternatives to dairy that treat more lightly on our planet. Here at Feedback HQ we’ve been experimenting with hemp milk – apparently it’s one of the least environmentally impactful alternatives to dairy out there.

Time to stop pouring the planet down the drain. Share these ideas for our alternative #WorldMilkDay now.

Food production is the single greatest impact humans have on the environment. We want everyone to have access to secure, nutritious food – and we believe we should be able to do so without trashing our planet in the process. One step towards that is to value the food we produce and waste less – or preferably none! – of it.

 

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Nine steps for Michael Gove to take towards a better food system

17th May 18 by Krysia Woroniecka

Brexit presents an opportunity for the health of people and soil, can the government sow the seeds of a better and fairer food system?

As you’ve no doubt heard, the UK is leaving the EU… and that means a chance to rethink how we subsidise and regulate our agricultural system. Over the past weeks, the government ran a consultation on their proposals for replacing Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after Brexit. Along with 44,000 other respondents to the consultation, Feedback had our say on what we think needs to change:

  1. European farming subsidies have long been unpopular with policymakers and some farmers alike because subsidies are linked to farmsize instead of outputs. The government is now considering how it should spend public money to incentivise farmers to achieve improvements in areas such as biodiversity, soil health and reducing carbon emissions. A great step in the right direction, but we think that growing healthy food also needs to be near the top of Michael Gove’s list – after all, the food that goes into good diets also turns out to be pretty good for the planet.
  2. The move away from rewarding big landowners for, well, having a lot of land, is vital – instead we’d like to see a mix of big and small farms that use sustainable methods (such as organic, agroforestry and a mix of different crops).
  3. And talking of farming methods, we aren’t keen on food crops being grown in order to produce energy rather than feeding people, such as maize, or lots of land being used to grow foods that nobody should be eating much of, such as sugar beet. In fact, we called on Gove to consider a cap on sugar production so we aren’t growing more than the UK population’s recommended daily allowance.
  4. In order to achieve these aims, the government will need to scratch their current definition of agricultural productivity. Instead of thinking purely in terms of pounds and pence, we argue that a farm’s productivity should be calculated in terms of nutritional value consumed per acre – i.e. how much good, healthy food is grown and eaten.
  5. Grown AND eaten – that bit’s important because as we all know, millions of tonnes of food to go waste every year, much of it on farms. That’s why one of our main recommendations to Mr. Gove was to create a target to halve food waste, including on farms.
  6. Of course there will always be some food waste that is no longer suitable for human consumption, and this should be fed to animals. We want the government to lift the ban on feeding food waste that may contain meat to omnivores – and many farmers agree with us. This will make feeding animals cheaper and mean importing less soya from abroad.
  7. The government can support a better food system by making sure that hospitals and schools buy their groceries from a variety of sustainable producers. We asked them to make their application forms easier and use what is known as the balanced scorecard approach to help smaller, local producers win contracts to supply local services.
  8. But not all government support needs to come in the form of payments. By helping farmers to form cooperatives and access shorter supply chains the government can ensure farmers receive more of each pound consumers spend on food.
  9. We must not undermine sound gains here with less sound grains from overseas…food coming from abroad should also meet our high standards- we want the government to uphold our right to eat food that is produced sustainably and with high standards of animal welfare. We don’t want to see food imports that simply move the environmental degradation elsewhere by out-sourcing the production of cheap food.

You can read about this and about our model for a sustainable food system in our full consultation response here. Brexit presents an opportunity for the health of people and soil, can the government sow the seeds of a better and fairer food system?

 

 

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Feedback’s response to Tesco’s publication of their annual food waste

10th May 18 by Carina Millstone, Executive Director

Food waste generated in UK operations remains stubbornly stuck at the 0.5% of food sold mark, much like previous years.

Responding to Tesco’s publication of their annual food waste data today, Carina Millstone, Executive Director of Feedback, said:

‘We are pleased to see that Tesco continues to show impressive leadership on food waste by publishing detailed, independently verified information on waste generated across product categories and business locations. We are also pleased to see Tesco reiterate its commitment to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030, and its ongoing work with suppliers to make this happen. But as for the waste figures themselves, alas, we can’t help but be disappointed that Tesco’s efforts haven’t translated into results. Food waste generated in UK operations remains stubbornly stuck at the 0.5% of food sold mark, much like previous years. Tesco’s failure to eliminate food waste completely in its own operations – let alone in its supply chain or in its customers’ home- despite its undisputed leadership and its commitment to doing so, suggests to us that supermarkets’ business models and ownership structure make them inherently wasteful. We look forward to Tesco proving us wrong.’

 

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Feedback response to Sainsbury’s and Asda merger

30th Apr 18 by Carina Millstone, Executive Director

Our groceries retail market is already one of the most concentrated in the world.

In response to news of a planned merger between supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Asda, with the combined group controlling as much as 30% of the groceries retail market, Carina Millstone, Executive Director of Feedback, said:

“The news of Sainsbury’s planned merger with Asda is poor tidings for farmers – and anyone concerned with building a resilient food system in the UK. Our groceries retail market is already one of the most concentrated in the world. This leaves farmers and other suppliers with little bargaining power and vulnerable to practices such as last minute order cancellations and inaccurate forecasting, which often leads farmers to overproduce crops to ensure they can meet orders.

Our research has shown time and time again that these practices lead to huge amounts of food waste on farms in the UK and overseas – contributing to the depletion of our dwindling natural resources and alarming erosion of soils. A balanced, resilient groceries market that can respond to climate change and other market shocks would see a wide diversity of enterprises within the food sector, with different models, scales and ownership structures. If this merger goes ahead we’ll take another step towards a top heavy market dominated by a few players with little interest in protecting the sustainability of the system or the interests of the farmers who feed us.”

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The future of English farming is in our hands

27th Apr 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

We need to talk about productivity in terms of wasting less – not producing more.

Now is a critical time for the future of faming in England. Defra has  released a consultation on farm policy for when we leave the EU. Michael Gove has said that Defra need as much input as possible from people who care about our food system, to help the government weigh up the alternatives facing it.

Feedback will be responding to the consultation – and we’d love it if you joined us. The deadline is May 8 – we need to act fast.

Here’s what you need to do

The Government is weighing up several options in terms of how to spend public money after the Common Agricultural Policy (the EU rules on agricultural subsidies). We think it’s really important that they prioritise protecting our environment and building a greener agricultural system. 

 

There are lots of ways to do this, but Feedback is calling for the Government to adopt two priorities:

  1. Wasting the food we grow is exhausting our soils and creating needless pollution. The Government should create a national, binding target to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030.
  2. Feeding our surplus food that isn’t fit for people to pigs, instead of importing vast quantities of feed from overseas, is just good sense. We want the Government to lift the ban on feeding food waste to pigs.

If you’re on board – please act today by writing to Michael Gove to let him know your views. Individual responses mean a lot more than lots of automatated identical emails, we’re asking you to take 10 minutes to send an email to Defra, with a message in your own words.

I know this might seem like a big ask – we wouldn’t ask if we didn’t think it was worth it. Below are some ideas to help you write your response.

Tell Michael Gove you want a national food target to halve food waste by 2030.

A national target to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030

The government thinks we need to increase agricultural productivity. But in a world where one third of all food produced is wasted we need to talk about productivity in terms of wasting less – not producing more.

We challenge the government to commit to a binding national commitment to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030. To do this they’ll need to ensure that food waste is measured across the supply chain – that includes on farms.

Tell Michael Gove you want a national food target to halve food waste by 2030.

Feeding safe and treated food waste to pigs

If food is good to eat, then it should be eaten by people. But what about food that still has nutritional value, but isn’t suitable for people any more? Our Pig Idea campaign encourages the feeding of food waste which isn’t edible to humans but is perfectly nutritious and delicious to pigs. Throughout history, we have fed pigs on food waste, it was actively encouraged during the war. We think now is a key opportunity to lead the way in creating a sustainable livestock system that allows English pig farmers to thrive. The government should review the measures that would be needed to feed treated food waste to pigs in a safe way, and bring in reforms to allow safe, heat-treated food waste to be fed to pigs – to end our reliance on expensive and environmentally destruction soy feeds from South America and make use of currently wasted food.

Tell Michael Gove you want to return to the common sense approach of feeding food waste to pigs.

We can create a food system that works with nature, this is a massive opportunity to shape the future of the English food system, please have your say.

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UK pig farmers support lifting the ban on feeding pigs with leftovers, while experts say safety concerns can be overcome

25th Apr 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

Over 75% of pig farmers and agricultural professionals support overturning the current ban on feeding leftovers to pigs.

New research has shown that over 75% of pig farmers and agricultural professionals support overturning the current ban on feeding leftovers to pigs. A survey conducted by Cambridge University at the British Pig and Poultry Fair in 2016 found that respondents who were in favour of using leftovers that are no longer fit for human consumption believe it will reduce costs, increase profitability and has environmental benefits.

The 9000 year-old practice of using swill to feed pigs was banned in the EU following the Food and Mouth outbreak in 2001, which was caused by a farmer feeding non-heat treated food waste to his pigs. A recent expert panel convened by the REFRESH food waste programme, examined safety concerns similar to those expressed by farmers in the survey. UK and EU academic and government experts concluded that from a technical point of view feeding surplus food to pigs is safe for both livestock and humans, provided certain safety measures such as heat treatment are enforced.

Feed costs present a significant challenge to pig farmers. In October 2017, feed costs in the UK made up 62% of total pork production costs, up from 59% in 2016. In Japan, however, industrial food-to-feed recycling plants deliver safe food surplus-based feed at half of the cost of conventional feed.

Overturning the ban would also have many environmental benefits, including reducing demand for unsustainable sources of feed such as soya and fish meal and on crops that could feed humans directly, such as wheat. Feeding pigs on treated food surplus at similar rates to Japan could reduce the land used to grow feed crops for European pigs by over 20% and “reduce demand for up to 268,000 hectares of soybean production”.

The survey captured views within the mainstream pig industry, with support for overturning the ban among both small-scale and large-scale producers. 73% of the pig farmers surveyed had farms with more than 1,000 pigs.

Karen Luyckx, Feedback’s animal feed specialist, said:

“The study shows that pig farmers across the UK are ready to bring the traditional practice of feeding surplus food to pigs into the 21st century. In 2010 we used an area the size of Yorkshire to produce the soy to feed our livestock – that is unsustainable. Pig farmers recognise the cost efficiencies and strong environmental benefits of feeding leftovers that have been processed to ensure they are safe. We urgently need to change how we feed pigs in the UK so we hope the government also recognises the value of this practice and takes forward these findings to ensure the current ban can be replaced with legislation that guarantees safety.

“Feedback is now further researching the economic viability and practicalities of adapting the Japanese heat-treatment and biosecurity model to the UK context. For example, only licenced, well-regulated processing plants should be allowed to produce feed from leftovers.”

 

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Expert panel concludes that feeding leftovers to pigs is safe

20th Apr 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

The evidence shows we can safely feed surplus food to pigs.

The current method of livestock production is inherently wasteful. 36% of world crops are fed to livestock but animal-based foods (meat and dairy) only deliver 12% of the world’s food calories.

At Feedback, we envision a world where there are no compromises on animal welfare, not a single tree is felled to make way for livestock grazing or feed crop land and the use of agricultural land is determined by best yield in nutritional terms and lowest environmental impact. This is why we want to return to the practice of feeding surplus food to pigs.

The 9000 year old practice of feeding food waste to pigs was banned in the EU following the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth which was started by a UK farmer illegally feeding untreated food waste to pigs. The safety concerns of this practice were addressed by an expert panel. An expert seminar was held to review food waste treatment and risk in relation to feeding food waste to pigs and chickens. The panel was made up of top veterinary epidemiologists, microbiologists and pig nutritionists from the Universities of Leeds, Cambridge and Wageningen, APHA-DEFRA and the European Food Standards Agency.

Catering and retail food surplus is fed to pigs in Japan and the United States after treatment to ensure its safety. Pigs are omnivorous animals, evolved to eat all the kinds of food that humans eat, and there is no evidence that feeding them properly treated food waste is unhealthy either to the animals, or to humans.

The Japanese system was presented to the panel; surplus food is treated and turned into feed at central processing facilities which are carefully managed. This produces feed at 40-60% of the cost of conventional feed. The pork is then sold as eco-pork. On an EU level feeding pigs on treated food waste at similar rates to Japan could reduce the land used to grow feed crops for European pigs by over 20%

The hazards and risk factors, such as animal pathogens and cross-contamination, were outlined and discussed. On balance, the panel concluded that from a technical point of view feeding food waste to pigs is viable provided certain safety measures are enforced; namely a combination of heat treatment and acidification. These safety measures need to be complimented with a system design to prevent cross-contamination using biosecurity measures and proven logistical and HACCP approaches (zoning, one directional process flows, dedicated sealed storage etc). A crucial next step identified by the panel is investigating the business case of this practice to ensure it is economically feasible for the EU context.

It is possible to build a livestock production model that works with the planet not against it. The evidence shows we can safely feed surplus food to pigs, we know this practice has massive environmental benefits and has the potential to help pig farmers thrive.

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Feedback welcomes EU legislation on Unfair Trading Practices as a step towards a fairer food supply chain

12th Apr 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

Unfair trading practices such as cancelled orders and last-minute order amendments cost farmers dearly

Feedback welcomes the EU’s proposed Directive on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs) in the food supply chain. The directive, which comes after many years of Feedback campaigning on this issue, aims to protect smaller producers from unfair dealing by large food businesses, including retailers, often leading to huge quantities of wasted food. Feedback’s research and investigations, have consistently shown that concentration of power in hands of large food businesses allows these businesses to dictate the terms and conditions by which food is grown, harvested, and transported, and to push responsibility for waste onto their suppliers. The legislation will protect small and medium sized suppliers, wherever they are based, against abusive practices, including a complaints mechanism. Feedback’s investigations in Kenya found that smaller, overseas suppliers are often the most vulnerable to unfair dealing such unfair rejections of produce and order cancellations, with a huge impact on their livelihoods. Our research on UK farms has found that farmers report waste of 10-12% on average – enough to feed the population of Birmingham or Manchester for a year.

The EU has taken an important step beyond the protection currently offered by the UK’s groceries market ombudsman, which does not currently protect indirect or overseas suppliers. The UK government decided earlier this year to resist calls to extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to protect producers who supply supermarkets indirectly, such as smaller farmers who sell their produce through middlemen.

Carina Millstone, Executive Director of Feedback, said:

“Unfair trading practices such as cancelled orders and last-minute order amendments cost farmers dearly, but they also cost the rest of us, in the damage wrought on our planet by producing food that is never eaten. This legislation is an important and overdue step towards protecting the people who grow our food from unfair dealing which undermine their livelihoods and encourage overproduction to meet capricious supermarket demand, leading to vast amounts of waste. We urgently need a fairer food system that treats farmers with respect and that values the precious natural resources such as water and land that goes into growing food and tackling unfair trading practices is an important step in the right direction.”

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Insight into working with Feedback

29th Mar 18 by Samiyah Talukdar

I thus implore young people to become more involved with Feedback.

Samiyah Talukdar spent 7 days with Feedback throughout February and March 2018. 

I walked into my work experience with Feedback with minimal knowledge on the issue of food waste and the environmental issues surrounding it, and, 8 weeks later, I’m leaving with a handful of new skills and a tremendous amount of knowledge that will shape my future. I thus urge young people to also take up work experience with Feedback, as the knowledge and experience they will gain is one that will stick with them for a long time.

Food waste is a prominent issue across the globe that I have unconsciously contributed to; I would throw away food once it has reached its best before date and I would even refuse to eat questionable looking ‘odd shaped’ food. Through my own actions I have, without ever realising, become part of the problem which Feedback champions in raising awareness of.

I am not alone in my actions, as there are many young people such as myself who are unaware of the way in which our actions become part of the wider food waste problem. The widely accepted practice to only eat specific ‘perfect’ shaped food and to throw away food before their best before dates is one of the main contributors to the fact that UK households throw away 7.3 million tonnes of food. Although it is a widely accepted norm that food should always look ‘presentable’, this norm should be challenged, and it is down to us to do so.

My work experience with Feedback as aforementioned has enhanced my knowledge of food waste, but Feedback have also introduced me to numerous important environmental issues, such as the importance of a sustainable diet. This is the idea of having a diet that is nutritionally adequate whilst also being as environmentally friendly as possible; this includes the notion of being waste free. This has benefitted me personally as I am actively seeking to change my own dietary habits.

I thus implore young people to become more involved with Feedback, whether it be through work experience or joining their projects such as the Gleaning Network.

This placement was organised as part of Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Bright Green Future project which is an Our Bright Future Project. Feedback is keen to host work experience students aged 16-24 as part of its Our Bright Future work.

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New report – how supermarkets drive food waste on UK farms

22nd Feb 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

Farmers surveyed for this report wasted on average 10–16% on typical years, equal to around 22,000–37,000 tonnes

Our new report reveals how supermarkets drive food overproduction and waste on UK farms.  Our investigations into international supply chains and our work with UK farmers through our Gleaning Network, which involves going to farms to harvest surplus produce, has shown us first-hand the scale of food waste, largely unseen to the public. To address this, we have released a new report that highlights farm level food waste and the systemic role that supermarkets play in this issue. The report draws on our investigations into global food supply chains, a survey of UK farmers in 2015 and case studies.

Scale of farm level food waste

Estimating the level of farm waste is challenging. Farmers surveyed for this report wasted on average 10–16% on typical years, equal to around 22,000–37,000 tonnes: enough food to provide 150,000 to 250,000 people with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a whole year. WRAP’s most recent research suggests that a conservative estimate of farm level food waste is 2.5 million tonnes, with the associated cost being £0.8 billion. There is a distinct lack of research on farm-level food waste, particularly when compared to household food waste – this needs to be addressed.

How supermarket culture drives waste

Farm level food waste is a symptom of overproduction, UK supermarkets transfer the commercial risk of overproduction onto farmers, and create a food production model that prioritises consistent, high availability  of cosmetically perfect produce over minimal waste. This has led to a food system which is synonymous with waste.

Our research shows that the following supermarkets practices drive waste;

  • Cosmetic specifications – supermarkets dictate strict cosmetic specifications to farmers meaning they will buy fresh produce that fits exacting size, shape and colour specifications –regardless of the nutrition, taste and value of the food.
  • Failure to market seasonal produce – certain weather conditions can lead to gluts. A cauliflower glut occurred in the UK in 2017 which resulted in large amounts of cauliflowers going to waste.
  • Cancelled or altered orders – a significant driver of waste is the difference between buyers’ forecasts and confirmed orders, including last-minute order cancellations.
  • Concentration of power among supermarkets – the UK food retail market is one of the most concentrated in Europe. Nearly half of the surveyed farmers reported that industry concentration in retail has led to less outlets for surplus produce, like traditional grocers and markets.

Our experience with farmers consistently shows that supermarket practices drive waste. Supermarkets need to be held responsible for the full extent of the waste they cause in food supply chains – not just the waste that comes from their stores. We need to address the ways high concentration of power in the hands of retailers has created an unfair food system, that depletes rather than nourishes the planet.

Read the full report here.

 

 

 

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Creative ways to help us build a better food system

22nd Feb 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

There are many ways to get involved in our work.

 

At Feedback we are working towards creating a food system that nourishes the planet. There are many ways to get involved in our work. The artist Persi Darukhanawala  generously offered to create a piece of original work for one of our supporters – raising an incredible £700 in the process.

Persi is an award-winning artist recently described as ‘one of the most original, subtle and intelligent artists working in the UK’ (Prof. R.G. Woolf, King’s College London). Persi Darukhanawala provides a unique form of commission for his talents. Where other artists paint or create portraits, designs or objects that have a pre-existing notion or project in mind, Persi makes visual songs with a marked associative, psychological and conceptual resonance.

For Feedback, Persi created a piece of work inspired by the song Perhaps Love by John Denver. Our supporter was very happy with the artwork, and we are also pleased that it looks like a beautiful circle (just like our new model).

If you are an artist and would like to donate a piece of work to Feedback – please contact us at hello@feedbackglobal.org. If you would like to donate to our work, click here.

To see more of Persi’s work, follow him on Instagram

 

 

 

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Learn about food waste AND contribute to Feedback’s work for a food system that nourishes the planet

5th Feb 18 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

New to the food waste scandal? Want to deepen your own, or your organisation’s knowledge?

New to the food waste scandal? Want to deepen your own, or your organisation’s knowledge?

Feedback has teamed up with Cloud Sustainability to offer access to their nifty eLearning module, ‘The Journey of Food.’ It sets out why food waste is a bad thing, what we can all do about it and also how and why it occurs in supply chains. That fits perfectly with Feedback’s ethos of getting to the root causes of waste, rather than just focusing on quick fixes.

What’s more, when you sign up to their eLearning module, part of the fee goes directly to support Feedback!

We met Nick Garrod, Cloud Sustainability’s Head of Learning, to find out why you should start your food waste learning journey.

So Nick, why does Cloud Sustainability care about food waste?

We care about food waste because it is an important issue – not just in the UK but globally too. Around 30% of all food produced is wasted –  wasted food that contributes to deforestation, huge water and energy use and carbon emissions. 

Cloud Sustainability aims to help people and organisations become more sustainable, and preventing food waste across the whole of the supply chain is a way of being more sustainable. It is not really that difficult to do.

And for those of us who haven’t used an eLearning platform before, what’s so great about it?

It is easy to use, if you can use Facebook or view a video on YouTube, then there is no reason why you cannot use our eLearning. It is engaging, with interactive content to keep the learner interested and to help them learn. There are lots of nice graphics and not too much to read – oh and it is also voiced by an actress from Broadchurch and Eastenders too!

So individuals can use module for their own development, what about organisations?

It contributes to around 40 minutes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for individuals and is a great product for organisations to use as part of an induction programme, a food waste awareness raising campaign, or a behaviour change initiative.

The module can be provided exactly as it is, or we can tailor it to meet a particular organisational need. Maybe you wish to add in your own company information, change some of the content around, or add your own logo and company colour!

Finally, show us your waste credentials: what was the last piece of food you saved from going to waste, and how?

Some food waste is unavoidable, as I don’t like the taste of banana skins, but I can compost them and prevent bananas becoming potential waste by only buying the amount I will actually eat!

This module has helped me think differently about the food I buy, how I store it and how I prevent it becoming a waste.

Find out more about ‘The Journey of Food’ and sign up here. Use code FB$JOF at checkout to ensure Feedback earns while you learn!

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Where and how can I donate my surplus food?

26th Jan 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

Got surplus food and want to feed bellies not bins? 

Got surplus food and want to feed bellies not bins? 

Below is a list of organisations who can receive and use, or otherwise help with, donations of surplus food. Some of these organisations are active only in London, while others operate in various regions throughout the UK.  For more information please visit the websites of the relevant organisation.

City Harvest collects nutritious surplus food from all segments of the food industry including restaurants, grocers, manufacturers, wholesalers, hotels and caterers.

Community Food Enterprise is a social enterprise. They collect surplus food and redistribute it to community groups in East London. CFE greatly needs surplus tinned fruit, cereal, coffee, cooking oils – fruit and vegetable donations would also be appreciated. They are always looking for volunteers.

DayOld is a food surplus social enterprise tackling food waste and food poverty. DayOld sells surplus baked goods (from brownies to cinnamon rolls to artisan loaves of bread) through treat boxes, office pop-ups, and event catering. Their baked goods are surplus, collected from artisan bakeries the previous day, preventing them from going to waste. Their profits become cash donations to charities addressing child hunger.

FareShare and FareShare FoodCloud – Accepts food from businesses and uses any stock that is food safe, including those requiring chillers, freezers, and ambient storage. Accepts products such as those with packaging errors, short-dated food, seasonal stock, manufacturing errors, damages, etc., including meat, fish, eggs and dairy products; fruit and vegetables; chilled food, such as ready meals or drinks; frozen food, or chilled food that has been blast frozen; ambient goods, such as pasta, tins and cereals; and bakery. They do not accept cooked food from events.  The FareShare FoodCloud programme enables supermarkets to inform local charities of surplus food which is available for collection. Stores input details of available food into the FoodCloud app, and connected charities receive a text alert to which they can reply, confirming that they are able to collect the items mentioned.

The Felix Project Works with supermarkets, wholesalers, and retailers to distribute donated food. As of April 2017 the organization will provide fruit, vegetables, bakery and dairy products, as well as dried goods. It does not provide meat or fish, or accept or deliver supplies beyond the use by date.

FoodCycle Runs community events to cook and serve donated food to those in need. Works with major food retailers including Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and with local independent retailers and markets.

London Street Food Bank  A co-operative of volunteers who collect and distribute non-perishable foods for low Income or non-income families. Also includes a group of volunteers who collect daily leftover food, such as sandwiches, rolls, salads etc. from retail food outlets and distributes them to the homeless on the streets of London.  (See also listing below)

Neighbourly puts local stores that have surplus in direct contact with the charities and projects that can get the food to people who need it. Works with M&S, Lidl, and others.

 Olio works with shops and cafés to reduce food waste. Their Food Waste Hero (FWH) programme involves OLIO matching volunteers with shops or cafes. They will collect any unsold surplus food at the end of the day and share within the local community. In addition, Olio’s app enables cafes or shops to upload information about surplus food directly. Local residents will be notified when the shop or cafe shares its unsold food, and they can message the shop or cafe to confirm collection. Finally, shops or cafes can host a drop box, a plastic OLIO box placed in the shop or café. The boxes enables neighbours to exchange with each other without having to arrange for a doorstep collection.

North London Action for the Homeless accepts donations of tinned vegetarian food and accepts large donations of quality, fresh ingredients. In particular, they need regular donations of tea, sugar, squash, oil, long life milk, vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, pasta and lentils.

Plan Zheroes accepts big and small food donations from restaurants, catering companies, supermarkets, food stores, stalls, etc. either regularly or occasionally. Businesses are matched with local charities who transport the food.

Real Junk Food Project is a collaborative effort between catering professionals and activists to bring about a radical change in the food system. RJFP intercept food that is past its expiration date, prepare the food and serve it in their cafés on a pay as you feel basis.  There may be an RJFP open near you, or coming soon or you could open your own. Contact them via their Facebook page to find out.

 

Save the date café are an East London group fighting to prevent food waste. They turn surplus food into delicious meals and serve them on a pay as you feel basis.

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Tesco wins Total Bull award for fake farm branding

8th Dec 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

We are awarding our first Total Bull award to Tesco for their unflinching commitment to fake farm branding.

Our new campaign, Total Bull, calls out the biggest bull on your supermarket shelves. We are awarding our first Total Bull award to Tesco for their unflinching commitment to fake farm branding.

Supermarkets are selling meat under fake farm names, deliberately encouraging consumers to believe that the meat is sourced from small-scale producers. We believe this is peddling a load of bull. For all shoppers know, behind the bucolic mirage could lie a high-intensity, unsustainable mega farm. Tesco are not the only supermarkets to use made up farm names in their branding. Other fake farm ranges include Asda’s ‘Farm Stores’, which features an old-fashioned barn and tractor on the label, Lidl’s ‘Birchwood Farm’ meat range (which is marketed as ‘Strathvale Farm’ in Scotland), Aldi’s ‘Ashfield Farm’ and Marks and Spencer’s ‘Oakham’ chicken.

Despite Tesco’s choice of very British-sounding names, the company’s website acknowledges that not all of the meat sold in their Woodside Farms pork range will have come from UK farms. Even for meats which are sourced from UK farms, such as ‘Willow Farms’ chicken, some meat may have been produced under conditions very far from those implied by their labels, in the growing number of mega-farms invading the UK’s countryside, many of which are reported to supply Tesco.

Tell Tesco this is Total Bull!

Think fake farm branding is a load of bull? Please join us and write to Tesco’s CEO, Dave Lewis, asking him to drop the labelling. Share our postcard on Facebook and tweet using the hashtag #TotalBull.

Read the full press release.

 

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Oh my gourd! Record breaking 25 tonnes of pumpkins rescued on Kent farm

8th Nov 17 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

25 tonnes is a serious amount of pumpkin.

Over 70 eager volunteers, including many young people, gathered on Saturday at Pumpkin Moon farm in Maidstone, to rescue over 25 tonnes – equivalent to 300,000 portions – of pumpkin from going to waste. With pumpkin and squash season in full swing, the ‘pick your own’ farm found itself with more fresh produce than it could sell, running the risk of the delicious veg joining the one third of food around the world that is wasted every year.

Luckily, Feedback’s Gleaning Network, and our team of eager volunteers, was there to step in. The Gleaning Network revives the ancient practice of gleaning – gathering up any leftovers after the harvest to ensure nothing that is good to eat goes to waste.

25 tonnes is a serious amount of pumpkin, which right now is making its way, via food redistribution charity FareShare, to frontline charities in over 20 cities around the country, feeding people in need. Gleaning brings you face to face with the terrifying reality of food waste on farms, but also provides a hands-on opportunity to do something about it, while meeting new people and having a great day out in the countryside. There are loads of gleans coming up over the next month or so – sign up to hear more.

It’s the season of plenty and farmers up and down the country are enjoying bumper crops of produce such as pumpkins, squash and apples. But sadly, not all of these delicious fruits and vegetables will find a good home. Every week, hundreds of tonnes of good food goes to waste on farms, for a variety of reasons, often including strict rules on how food must look in order to be stocked in supermarkets, last-minute order cancellations, and overproduction for fear of losing customers in lean years. Feedback campaigns to end the scandal of food waste and works to spread the word on the many delicious solutions – pumpkin pie anyone?

Our Gleaning Network is supported by Our Bright Future and SavingFood.eu.

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Government closes its eyes to food waste challenge

25th Oct 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

The government has decided it’s time to put its head in the sand on the massive challenge of food waste.

In a statement issued last week, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gave a disappointing response to recommendations for action on food waste made by a committee of MPs earlier this year.

The recommendations were based on a long and thorough process of evidence-gathering and consideration, with the committee hearing from charities, including Feedback, supermarkets, and experts in the field of food waste.

But the government has rejected two key recommendations, to adopt a national food waste reduction target in line with the UN global goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030, and to require all food businesses over a certain size to publicly report their food waste figures. It gave a lukewarm reception to other recommendations

It seems that far from ramping up its early ambition on food waste, the government has decided it’s time to put its head in the sand on the massive challenge of food waste, and the social and climate disaster that, unchecked, it represents.

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Wondering what you can feed your pigs? There’s now an app for that!

18th Oct 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

Under current law certain food can be fed to pigs.

Our campaign, The Pig Idea, encourages the feeding of surplus food that is no longer fit for human consumption, to pigs.  We aim to lift the EU ban on feeding catering waste, or swill, to pigs.

Under current law certain food can be fed to pigs, for example, bread, dairy, fruit and vegetables. But the legislation is confusing and results in lots of permissible food not being fed to pigs because people are worried about getting it wrong. To address this, we have developed a prototype web app to help food businesses determine whether their surplus food is suitable for animal feed and navigate the relevant legislation.

The United Nations estimates that if farmers around the world fed their livestock on the food that we currently waste and on agricultural by-products, enough grain would be liberated to feed an extra three billion people. To help food businesses contribute to such a grand waste-free future, Feedback (as part of the Refresh Community of Experts) have developed the app for businesses to clarify which surplus food is suitable, and what needs to be done to send the food to animal feed in a safe and legal way.

The prototype tool is currently being validated by UK stakeholders and will be converted to the Spanish and Dutch contexts in the next year and a half. If you are interested in finding out more, or commenting on the test version, please get in touch with karen@feedbackglobal.org.

 

 

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Major campaign win – EU vows to take on power of the supermarkets in new legislation

17th Oct 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

Feedback has always supported the farmers that feed us, and measures to produce a fair and sustainable food system.

At Feedback, we have consistently argued that to reduce waste and create a just and sustainable food system we need to address the asymmetry of power that currently exists in the food supply chain. Our research has identified examples from around the world of big food businesses, like retailers, abusing their dominant market power to push the costs of excess production and waste onto producers. And it’s not just us who’s noticed – the EU has been talking about ‘unfair trading practices’ in the food system for a while. Now it looks like they’re going to do something about it.

To address problems like these that are entrenched in our food system you need more than voluntary commitments or industry rhetoric – you need regulation. We’ve argued this in our publications, lobbying, and campaigning, calling for the model of the UK’s ‘Groceries Code Adjudicator’ to be turbo-charged and replicated across Europe.

So we’re delighted that the EU Food and Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has announced that he will be putting forward some EU legislation to address unfair trading practices. Commissioner Hogan made his intentions to make the food system fairer very clear, saying ‘supermarkets in particular now enjoy “super-power”‘. He added:

“In fact – and I’m sure this will not shock you – the only stakeholder group in favour of keeping the status quo is retailers. But regulators and policymakers can never afford to lose sight of one salient fact: without the primary producer, there is no food supply chain. And primary producers can only do their vital work if they receive a fair buck for their work”.

We couldn’t agree more, Phil. Feedback has always supported the farmers that feed us, and measures to produce a fair and sustainable food system. We’ll be tracking this legislation closely and keeping up the pressure to ensure Europe becomes a world leader for a better food system.

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Feedback part of European community of experts tackling food waste

17th Oct 17 by Jessica Sinclair Taylor

The new Community of Experts will help users share and access information and ideas to develop and deliver their own initiatives.

A new digital network has been launched to encourage collaboration and bring together expertise from across Europe and beyond in a focussed response to the global issue of food waste. The Community of Experts  aims to help drive action at every level of the supply chain by empowering individuals, organisations and nations through the sharing of skills, knowledge and resources needed to act against food waste.

Developed by the EU REFRESH Project in cooperation with the European Commission’s EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the new Community of Experts will help users share and access information and ideas to develop and deliver their own initiatives, wherever they are based.

With 120 experts and 80 resources online, the collaboration between REFRESH and members of the EU Platform on Food Loss and Waste has already proven to be a powerful convening force, bringing together authorities from many disciplines, and from the whole value chain.

Find out more at www.refreshcoe.eu.

@EUrefresh

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That’s Total Bull!

9th Oct 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

We're calling out the biggest bull on your supermarket shelves.

We’re calling out the biggest bull on your supermarket shelves.

Every day, big brands take you for a ride when you buy your food. Marketing is powerful and food brands know that industrial farming doesn’t sell. So instead they jazz up their cheap meat with some pretty images and nice words, and hope we’ll buy it.

Well, we’re calling bullsh*t. It isn’t enough to stick ‘farm fresh’, ‘all natural’ or a picture of a happy hen or a cute windmill on your packaging. To make real choices about our food we need real information, not the fantasies of corporate marketing teams who’ve never seen the factory farms where they source their food.

It’s #TotalBull and it’s everywhere. But we’re not buying it.

Coming soon, we’ll be unveiling our latest campaign, uncovering the biggest bull on your supermarket shelves – follow our  new campaign Facebook page to get the latest.

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Food waste movement heating up in North America

6th Oct 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

The food waste movement in North America is growing and taking on a life of its own.

In 2016, we brought our flagship campaign Feeding the 5000 to America. At each event, we serve up a delicious communal feast for 5000 people made entirely out of food that would otherwise have been wasted. We bring together a coalition of organisations that offer the solutions to food waste, raising the issue up the political agenda and inspiring new local initiatives.

Last year, in collaboration with over 100 partner organizations we fed thousands of people across America from food that would have otherwise been wasted.

The food waste movement in North America is growing and taking on a life of its own. It is so inspiring and empowering to see food waste warriors across the world stepping up to the plate to fight this global scandal.

Here’s what’s coming up

Maine Gleaning Week, October 7-16

Following the huge success of Feeding the 5000 Portland, Maine will host Gleaning Week. Throughout the week, participating organisations will host gardening, gleaning, and family fun events to highlight ways we can all reduce food waste and make healthy local food more accessible to those in need. The World Food Day event will wrap up with the Maine premiere of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.

For more information and a statewide calendar of Gleaning Week events, visit www.mainegleaningnetwork.org.

 Feeding the Hudson Valley, October 7

Feeding the Hudson Valley is a celebration of positive solutions to the issue of food waste. In addition to a free lunch, the event will include live music, expert speakers, local chef demonstrations, educational activities and resources to create awareness about food waste, food recovery, food waste prevention and feeding hungry people, not landfills.

For more information visit http://feedhv.org/events/

Feeding the 5000 Toronto, October 8

A Thanksgiving feast for 5000 will raise awareness of the 1 billion pounds of food wasted in Toronto last year, while inspiring guests to take action through an array of demos, activities and cook-offs. Hosted by Food Network star Bob Blumer, in collaboration with Second Harvest, Toronto Food Policy Council, Food Systems Lab, Food Banks Canada and George Brown, Feeding the 5000 is a free event that calls on the community to consider how they, too, can transform our future for the better, for everyone.

Feeding the 5000 Toronto is part of EDIT, more information here.

Feeding the 5000 Austin Texas, October 19

Join Texas’ first Feeding the 5000, this communal feast at Texas State Capitol, South Lawn is open to all. In addition to the free lunch, Feeding the 5000 Austin will feature a variety of activities, including cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, community organizations, and more. For more informationvisit http://www.feedingthe5000usa.org/austin

Want to volunteer? Fill in this short form and we’ll be in touch.

Want to organise your own food waste event?

Anyone can be a food waste warrior and anyone can organise a food waste event. We have developed a toolkit with everything you need to know and it has been used by people across the world! Your event could be next – check out the toolkit and bring the food waste revolution to your neighbourhood.

 

 

 

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