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The government has awarded more than £4 million to four redistribution organisations across England to help overcome barriers to cut food waste.

The successful bids – from Fareshare, Company Shop Group, The Felix Project and Food Works Sheffield – will receive funding through the first tranche of a £15 million scheme launched in January by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The projects will enable existing food redistribution companies to take more surplus food from manufacturers and retailers and stop it going to waste. As part of the selection exercise, the projects had to put forward their proposals on how they would do this. Solutions include developing new supply routes from growers and local distributors, funding new lines and additional staff and increasing capacity for repackaging and labelling.

A further round of funding will focus on improving infrastructure for companies to redistribute even more of the estimated 100,000 tonnes of food – equating to 250 million meals a year – which is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, this food is currently sent away for generating energy from waste, anaerobic digestion or animal feed.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Food waste is unnecessary and morally unforgivable. We must end it, and our £15 million fund is a true game-changer in making that happen.

“I am thrilled that this first round of funding will allow these terrific projects to redistribute even more perfectly good food, making sure it ends up where it belongs – on people’s plates and stomachs.”

Today’s announcement comes in the run-up to a major event ‘Step up to the Plate’ at London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum, hosted by the Environment Secretary and the government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion Ben Elliot on Monday 13 May. The event will run alongside the V&A’s FOOD: Bigger than the Plate exhibition and bring together big players from the worlds of food retail, hospitality, chefs and social media influencers to promote awareness of food waste and help drive it down from all sources. Read more

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