FoodSave Food Waste Scheme

October 4, 2013

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has launched a new scheme to help small businesses to cut food waste.

The FoodSave scheme will both help reduce waste and divert surplus food to useful purposes instead of landfill – especially useful for the UK hospitality industry, for which 41% of waste is food (an estimated four million tonnes according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme).

Over the next 18 months, 240 small and medium-sized businesses will work with the Mayor, the European Regional Development Fund and the London Waste and Recycling Board to cut their food waste. The Sustainable Restaurant Association will also be involved, working with restaurants, hotels, pubs, quick-service restaurants and canteens. Meanwhile, food-and-farming alliance Sustain will oversee food manufacturers, food retail outlets, street food sellers, market stalls and caterers.

The aim is to save £360,000 and 1,000 tonnes of waste by March 2015.

As well as identifying where food is most wasted and endeavouring to reduce it, measures will also include sending surplus food to organisations that redistribute food to those who need it most; directing surplus and off-cut food to animals such as pigs; and generating renewable energy or composting any unavoidable waste. FoodSave follows the principles of the Food Waste Pyramid and will work with businesses to reduce as much food waste as possible, before using surplus food to feed people in need and directing food unfit for human consumption to feed livestock where legally permissible. Where food waste cannot be avoided or redistributed, FoodSave will support composting and renewable energy generation, helping participating businesses to avoid landfill.

The initiative comes in the same week as Vision 20:20, a report from food waste recycler ReFood, was released, which urged households, businesses and the public sector to aim for “a food waste-free future by 2020”.

Food businesses can find out more about the FoodSave project and how to get involved at