Food Waste Champion – A new Food Surplus and Waste Champion has been appointed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Philanthropist Ben Elliot, co-founder of lifestyle business Quintessentially. has accepted the unpaid position to help drive forward the Government’s plans to cut food waste and eliminate from landfill by 2030. Elliot will lead the ambitious project which is set to reduce the 10.2 million tonnes of unnecessary food waste in the UK from all sources.
Food Waste Champion – One of his first tasks will be to oversee the Food Waste Fund, a £15m pilot scheme which will redistribute surplus food. Working with businesses and other stakeholders from across retail, manufacturing, hospitality and food services, he will also support Government consultations on the introduction of mandatory food waste reduction targets and redistribution obligations.
Elliot’s appointment is a key commitment in the Government’s recently-published Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out Government plans to consult on introducing annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses; and their intention to consult on seeking powers for setting mandatory targets for food waste prevention should progress be insufficient.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
“Food waste is an economic, environmental and moral scandal. We must end it. That’s why I am delighted Ben Elliot is taking up this position and know he will bring the enthusiasm and skills this important role needs. His first task will be to help ensure our £15m food waste fund redistributes surplus food that would otherwise be wasted to those most in need.”
“While families all over the country struggle to put food on the table and children still go to school each day with empty stomachs, there continues to be an unforgivable amount of food waste, which is both morally deplorable and largely avoidable.
“As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to landfill.”
According to The Guardian, there is currently around 43,000 tonnes of surplus food redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, the government says. It is estimated a further 100,000 tonnes of food – equating to 250m meals a year – is edible and readily available but goes uneaten. Instead, it is sent away for generating energy from waste, or for animal feed.