Bristol’s food industry acts on food waste with new redistribution tool

22 August 2023

Bristol’s Food Redistribution Group – chaired by Resource Futures – has launched a tool to help food businesses effectively redistribute surplus food to aid those in food poverty in Bristol.

Numerous organisations are doing great work around food redistribution in Bristol, but with many people in food poverty, demand on services is high, and too often organisations receive food they are unable to process.

Bristol’s Food Redistribution Group brings together these organisations to collaborate, tackle key challenges, and ensure food is going to those who need it. Members include FareShare SW, Neighbourly, Avon Gleaning Network, Too Good To Go, FoodCycle, Bristol Food Network, Feeding Bristol and Wild Goose.

This year, the group saw an opportunity for food businesses and redistribution services to work together and inspire more food redistribution in Bristol. They developed a tool to enable businesses to understand where to send their surplus food – to ensure it’s going to best use, and ultimately provide food to people experiencing food insecurity.

Access the food redistribution tool.

Combining our expertise in tool development and our understanding of food waste, with the experience of the redistribution groups and their knowledge of the day-to-day needs of clients and suppliers, has been essential in the development of this tool.

We hope to see it become the ‘go-to-tool’ for businesses in Bristol looking to manage their food surplus and develop closer ties with their communities.

Sarah Hargreaves, Behaviour Change Lead at Resource Futures

Designed for food service businesses, food manufacturing and production companies, food retailers, farms and more, the food redistribution tool allows businesses to filter redistribution services based on the amount and type of food they have available, as well as other factors such as whether they can deliver. The tool then generates a list of the most appropriate redistribution organisations.

Top tips for maximising the food redistribution tool.

The launch of the tool comes at a key time as industry stakeholders react to Defra’s announcement that it will not mandate waste measurement and reporting for large food businesses until 2026. Surplus food app Too Good To Go warned of the global consequences of neglecting food waste reduction, with Co-Founder, Jamie Crummie, citing that food waste contributes to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions – even surpassing the aviation industry.

There are also significant economic and social impacts to food waste. The UK’s hospitality and food service sector throws away 1.1 million tonnes of food each year – three quarters of which is avoidable – costing the industry £3.2 billion every year. In Bristol, 1 in 20 households (4.2%) experienced severe to moderate food insecurity in 2019/20, increasing to 1 in every 8 households (12.2%) in the most deprived wards of the city.

The food distribution tool is an opportunity for Bristol businesses to act on food waste and help address its associated environmental, economic, and social impacts. Why not give the tool a try today?