Gove pledges £15m to reduce UK food waste

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced £15 million (€16.93 million) of funding for a new government scheme to reduce food waste.

On Monday (1 October), Gove described the UK’s food waste problem as “morally indefensible” for the harm it causes to both the environment and business.

This new government scheme will focus mainly on food waste in the retail and food manufacturing sectors, where 205,000 tonnes of surplus food were wasted in 2017.

Of this waste, it is estimated that around half (100,000 tonnes, or 250 million meals) is edible and easily accessible but still goes uneaten, ending up in energy-from-waste, anaerobic digestion (AD) or going towards animal feed when it could have been redistributed to charities and communities in need.

“In the coming months we will work closely with business, charities and volunteers to deliver a new scheme to tackle this problem,” Gove said. The scheme, to be developed in partnership with businesses and charities, will launch in 2019/20 with a focus on reducing the amount of edible surplus that goes to waste.