Food waste chief to stop millions of meals being binned

The Guardian

Tue, Jan 01, 2019 - Page 6

The government has appointed a food waste champion to tackle the problem of 250 million meals being thrown away in the UK each year.

Ben Elliot, a philanthropist and cofounder of the lifestyle group Quintessentially, aims to help the government eliminate food waste going to landfill by 2030. He was appointed to the voluntary role by British Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who described food waste as “an economic, environmental and moral scandal.”

Elliot’s first task will be to oversee the Food Waste Fund, a £15 million (US$19.1 million) pilot scheme that will redistribute surplus food, Gove said.

Working with businesses and other stakeholders from across retail, manufacturing, hospitality and food services, he will also support government consultations on the introduction of mandatory food waste reduction targets and redistribution obligations.

“While families all over the country struggle to put food on the table and children still go to school each day with empty stomachs, there continues to be an unforgivable amount of food waste, which is both morally deplorable and largely avoidable,” Elliot said. “As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to landfill.”