Tackling food waste is the raison d’etre for a new £200,000 fund set up Hubbub.
The environmental charity announced this week it is on the hunt for new ideas and solutions to alleviate the food waste crisis, which is viewed as a significant contributor to climate change. A more efficient global food system could mean millions of tonnes of carbon emissions saved on an annual basis through unnecessary production, transportation, and rotting food.
The new ‘Eat It Up’ fund is looking for applications that promise to address pre-farmgate waste, which is the food production process up to the point where the products have been harvested and prepared as produce for sale. It also wants ideas which prevent food from being wasted at manufacturing and processing stage, minimise food waste from retailers , and find ways to use surplus food in creative ways in communities or at home .
According to waste prevention NGO Wrap, 6.4 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year in the UK by retailers, manufacturers, caterers, restaurants and in people’s homes, with 3.6 million tonnes of food wasted before it even leaves the farm gate.
Small businesses, social enterprises, charities, local authorities, and universities have been invited to apply for a grant of £40,000 to support their ideas for tackling food waste that are ready to test, or concepts that have been tested and are ready to progress further.
Ellen Rutherford, head of food at Hubbub, commented: “The Eat It Up fund has been created to stimulate innovation in tackling food waste, which is a big contributor to climate change.
“So many resources go into growing, processing, packing, storing, and transporting food. There are lots of interesting and inventive ideas out there and this new fund will help organisations to test new concepts and get their ideas off the ground.”
The fund is supported by coffee chain Starbucks, which instigates an in-store 5p cup charge when customers choose to use a paper cup rather than a reusable container. Money from that scheme has been donated in support of the Hubbub initiative. Starbucks has also supported other Hubbub grants, including for a reusable packaging scheme in 2022.
Jacqui Wetherly, director of sustainability at Starbucks UK, remarked: “Food waste continues to present a huge challenge nationwide and innovative and creative solutions are needed to help tackle it.”
She said the new initiative and projects like it are “the starting point for us to understand more about the levers of change and help inform society’s response to food waste across the country”.
[Image credit: Hubbub]