Morrisons formalised a partnership between its food production sites and the food redistribution charity FareShare in April 2017, to use surplus food occurring at their manufacturing sites to benefit people in need. After nine months, the partnership has resulted in enough good quality food for over 100,000 meals being saved from waste and diverted to charities supporting vulnerable people across the UK.
Numerous Morrisons production sites have committed to work with FareShare, including the retailer’s fish processing plant in Grimsby which was the first to come on board, followed by their fruit packing house Cutler Heights and most recently, vegetable packing house Clayholes Farm in Carnoustie and the Gadbrook Regional Distribution Centre.
The recent addition of Clayholes Farm in December 2017 means that FareShare in Scotland now receives a regular supply of surplus potatoes. The Morrisons team recognised that potatoes used as quality samples could be collected and bagged up for donation to FareShare, rather than going to animal feed. The samples are now sent to FareShare Glasgow once a fortnight, where they are redistributed to local frontline charities.
The provision of off-cut grapes from the retailer’s fruit packing house Cutler Heights has grown from strength to strength since the project started in November 2017. FareShare now receives surplus grapes three times a week from the Bradford site, which are distributed nationwide to the charity’s network of Regional Centres. Three months since the project began, FareShare has received 40 tonnes of off-cut green grapes, which has directly benefited over 1,400 charities, including children’s breakfast clubs, day centres for older people and community centres in deprived areas. As of this week, the project has been expanded to include red surplus grapes, which is projected to significantly increase volumes donated.
Following the success of the partnership, Morrisons will work with FareShare to embed the FareShare redistribution model further into their wider manufacturing network.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, says: “We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Morrisons. Thanks to collaboration across multiple production sites, FareShare is able to access a range of fresh, nutritious food that is in such high demand by the thousands of frontline charities we support – items like fresh fish, potatoes and fruit. These types of surplus foods go a long way to helping local charities provide hot, nutritious meals for those who might otherwise go without. The fact that we have already reached a milestone of providing over 100,000 meals is testament to Morrisons commitment to putting their surplus food to the best possible use.”
Steven Butts, head of corporate services at Morrisons, says: “As a foodmaker that makes most of the fresh food we sell, our manufacturing sites represent the best opportunity to make a real difference by working with FareShare. We want more and more people to be able to eat well and that means ensuring as little as possible is wasted. Working with FareShare means we get surplus food made into wholesome meals where they are needed.”