Wetherspoon has committed to donate surplus meats, chips, ready meals and desserts from its locations across five UK cities to the charity, and to deliver the food itself in a move to drive down carbon emissions from transportation.

The excess food will be sent to Fareshare’s regional centres in Hull, Speke, Manchester, Preston and Newcastle from local pubs during a month-long trial, with a view to a nationwide rollout if the scheme is successful.

J D Wetherspoon’s quality assurance manager, Sophie Finn, said the trial serves as evidence of the brand’s “strong belief that edible food should be eaten by hungry people”, adding that it was “only the start” of a partnership with FareShare.

The pub chain has previously donated more than 1.7 tonnes of edible food waste to FareShare, enabling the platform to distribute 4,000 meals to those in need at hostels for the homeless, school breakfast clubs and refuges for domestic violence victims.

Wetherspoon said in a statement that the food it provides to FareShare during the trial will be classed as surplus to its requirements due to its recent menu changes, or because of damaged outer packaging. It added that neither factor affected the safety or taste of its food, but that both made the products “costly to rework for commercial sale”.

Leading partnerships

Wetherspoon has also committed to convert more than 11,000 tonnes of food waste into green energy each year through its partnership with waste management firm Veolia, in a move that is set to generate 3,450 MWh of renewable power annually.

Commenting on the new partnership, FareShare’s chief executive Lindsay Boswell said: “Having such a well-known, influential company as Wetherspoon on board is great news and sets a positive example to other businesses within the food service industry.”

Boswell added that the platform has implemented a “robust” process at the pubs involved with the trial, enabling surplus food to be diverted “quickly and effectively”.

The launch of the scheme comes after a recent WRAP report found that the hospitality and food service industry accounts for approximately 17% of the 10 million tonnes of food waste produced annually in the UK – a problem which cost the sector an estimated £3bn in 2016.

Sarah George

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