Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Minister urges retailers to donate food

March 04 2010
Hilary Benn highlights waste food mountain

A government minister has urged the UK's largest food retailers to donate leftover goods to charity food distributors such as FareShare.

Environment minister Hilary Benn wrote to several companies highlighting the £12bn-worth of food wasted every year, adding that "a lot it is perfectly edible".

Maria Olesen, the charity's spokesperson, agreed with Benn's argument, describing some of the wastage - for damaged packaging or because an item it out of promotion - as "really quite silly".

"Lots of companies go to the extra effort to make sure their product is fair trade and ethically sourced," Olesen added, "and now they are trying to avoid landfill, but we are saying don't let it go to waste - people can eat it."

Despite the public endorsement, the government has no plans to provide any funding for the charity.

But according to Olesen, Fareshare has the capacity to deliver up to five times more than its current output. "The government has done a good thing here," she said. "We have been saying it for a while. We have been saying, come on, get on board."