Each year 250,000 tonnes of edible food goes to waste, that’s enough food for 650 million meals.

With this amount of food waste there is no need for anyone in this country to being going hungry.

We call food that isn’t going to be sold, but which is still edible, surplus food. Food becomes surplus for simple reasons such as over-production, labelling errors or short shelf-life. Surplus food occurs everywhere in the supply chain from field through to fork. Here’s a breakdown of where it occurs and how much:

  • Farms: 100,000-500,000 tonnes
  • Processing and manufacturing: 52,000-160,000 tonnes
  • Wholesale and distribution: 80,000-120,000 tonnes
  • Retail: 47,000-110,000 tonnes

Why is this food going to waste?

The answer is it is cheaper to send this food to animal feed than it is to redirect it for human consumption. This is because animal feed in incentivised by the Government.

We want to change that; we want the Government to change its policy and incentivise surplus food to be redirected back into the food chain for human consumption. We will work hard on your behalf to ensure this happens. Working with Government to change this policy will ensure everyone has access to good quality food.

Figures from WRAP, Surplus Redistribution in the UK 2015 – 2017


The Scottish Pantry Network