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COP26 took place from 31st October to 12th November 2021. FareShare UK participated at COP26 Glasgow with their campaign #DontFreezeOutFoodWaste aimed at putting “food waste” on the COP26 agenda. 

As part of the FareShare network, we believe food waste needs to be a big part of the conversation on Climate Change. We are committed to keeping this conversation alive beyond COP26.

Stopping food waste and climate change are at the heart of what FareShare Sussex does. One of our six strategic aims is to “increase our social and environmental impact”. We work with over 20,000 people a week, hundreds of charities, businesses, and volunteers.  We are compelled to protect them and our beautiful planet and hope that what we do in the next year encourages local and national government, every business, school, charity and person to #actnow.

Food waste facts

First thing first, it’s important to understand why food waste is key to fighting climate change and reaching the Paris Agreement target of limiting average global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Here are some facts: 

  • At least one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. 3.6 Million tonnes of good food is wasted by the UK food industry every year. (Food that is still perfectly fresh and delicious when it is disposed of).
  • Food waste is responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • To make matters worse, if that food ends up in landfills it produces methane – a greenhouse gas up to 86 times stronger than carbon dioxide. 
  • If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the USA. 

Tackling food waste and fighting food poverty

FareShare Sussex has stopped 790 tonnes of fresh, unsold food from being wasted from the beginning of 2021. Since January 2021, the food has been redistributed to 162 charities and community groups feeding 20,400 vulnerable people a week.

Win-win solutions for both planet and people at FareShare Sussex

  • We cook low-carbon lunches, which mostly include vegetables and surplus surplus food, for our amazing volunteers and staff.
  • Thanks to funds from the WRAP Resource Action Fund (Waste & Resources Action Programme), we bought and integrated into our fleet an electric van and an electric cargo bike. We have now increased the amount of food we deliver whilst reducing our carbon footprint and toxic emissions from our deliveries. For example, the electric van created extra capacity for us to initially recruit 32 more Community groups and prevented 2806kg of direct carbon dioxide emissions in its first year.

  • We support farmers to share their unsold fresh food with families, instead of having to waste it. It is currently cheaper for farmers to waste good-to-eat food! FareShare Sussex receives food through the Gleaning Network. Sussex Gleaning rescues this surplus food directly from farms and redirects it to people in need; to FareShare Sussex or other similar organisations.
  • We have partnered with Anya Ledwith, an environmental consultant from Eshcon to analyse our carbon footprint. She led a successful Carbon Footprint action plan session for the team and we are now in the process of creating an internal Green Group to action this plan. The group will be a mixture of volunteers, staff from across the business, and hopefully a trustee or two.

Watch this space for updates about how we are going to reduce our footprint in 2022!