A councillor whose campaign against food waste led to a law forcing French supermarkets to donate unwanted food to charity has set his sights on getting similar legislation passed globally. Arash Derambarsh said it was “scandalous and absurd” that food is wasted and in some cases deliberately spoiled while the homeless, poor and unemployed go hungry. Derambarsh – a municipal councillor for the “Divers Droit” (diverse right) in Courbevoie, north-west of Paris – persuaded French MPs to adopt the regulation after a petition gained more than 200,000 signatures and celebrity support in just four months. The amendment was approved as part of a wider law – the Loi Macron – that covers economic activity and equality in France and is expected to be passed by the national assembly on Tuesday, entering the statute books shortly afterwards.
And here in the UK there is a nw campaign – “Supermarkets should donate all unsold and edible food to charity to feed our homeless”: The appeal says “Our country may be developed, but everyday people go hungry for a variety of reasons such as unexpected bills, redundancy and homelessness. Latest government figures have revealed that 52,000 families were formally declared as homeless last year. This has resulted in an increasing need for food banks. Figures published by leading charity The Trussell Trust revealed that foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide last year including 330,205 children. Our supermarkets throw away millions of pounds worth of edible food each week. Food rotting in landfills doesn’t benefit our society so we think it should be given to charity.” YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE.
A Greener Festival are proud to be part of the team behind 8th Plate: The Food Waste Project. 8th Plate is a project which aims to salvage 60 tonnes of festival food waste this summer, to make 143,000 ready meals for vulnerable people in society. Thousands of tonnes of perfectly good food is sent to landfill each year after going unsold at festivals and outdoor events. The number of unknown variables at live events means that large amounts of perfectly good food often goes unsold. A proportion of the food left over can’t be kept until the next event for food safety reasons, so it ends up going to landfill. The solution? Bring food off site so that it can be eaten before it becomes unsafe. We’re calling it 8th Plate because 1 person in 8 globally goes hungry. Any waste food collected through the project will be turned into ready meals for distribution to food banks and soup kitchens in the South West.
The National Caterers Associaction, NCASS, has partnered with FareShare South West and A Greener Festival to reduce the amount of food waste at festivals and events and develop systems to salvage food before it goes off. We’re calling it 8th Plate because 1 person in 8 globally goes hungry. Any waste food collected through the project will be turned into ready meals for distribution to food banks and soup kitchens in the South West. Over the 2015 summer festival season, 8th Plate will set out to salvage 60 tonnes of food, to distribute around 143,000 meals and to save 270 tonnes of CO2 from the environment.
A trial run took place during the 2014 summer season with great results. FareShare engaged with more than 100 traders at three different festivals. They collected over 10 tonnes of good quality food that would have gone to waste had they not offered to redistribute it. Two tonnes of food waste were redistributed from 64 traders at WOMAD Festival to shelters and centres in the South West. The project provided 4,762 meals for vulnerable people at Windsor Hall Wood in Shepton Mallet, Elim Connect Centre in Wells and the YMCA in Burnham-on-Sea. Each part of the initiative is a step towards improving sustainability at festivals and reducing unnecessary waste and costs while supporting vulnerable individuals. You can see what the Shambala Festival are doing with 8th Plate in 2015 here.
NCASS Director Mark Laurie says, “The amount of food wasted at festivals can be quite high so the ultimate aim is to manage stock as effectively as possible to minimise waste. Where inefficiencies occur we should be looking to help the people that need it most” adding “With the ever increasing costs of produce and fuel, sustainability is becoming a necessity for catering businesses rather than a luxury. Sometimes food waste cannot be helped which is exactly why this scheme has been set up.”
The Eighth Plate is a food salvage, research, and awareness project established by A Greener Festival, Fareshare SW, and the Nationwide Caterers Association. It is supported by WRAP and Esmee Fairbarn.