Wake: education needed on surplus and waste difference

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Waste

Knowing the difference between food waste and surplus is key for manufacturers looking to become more sustainable, according to food surplus redistribution organisation Company Shop.

In this exclusive video interview – filmed at Food Manufacture’s ​Business Leaders’ Forum last month – Sally Wake, business development director at Company Shop, identified a challenge in educating food firms about what should be considered waste.

“For us ​[Company Shop] it’s only waste when it’s not fit for human consumption,” ​said Wake. “I think at a manufacturing level they ​[the companies] may see things as waste that we would see as surplus.”

While some waste was inevitable, Wake called on manufacturers to reassess the products they might be tempted to scrap.

Surplus not waste

Products that might not meet standards – such as incorrect labelling or missing a single ingredient – could be donated to charities or sold to companies like Company Shop as surplus, she said.

One barrier preventing manufacturers from donating or selling food surplus was a lack of communication, claimed Wake.

She added: “I think a lot of it is​ [a lack of] information and possibly misunderstanding. There are a lot of manufacturers out there that we’d like to contact. We need to make sure that manufacturers understand what we do and how we do it.”

Company Shop was a joint sponsor with law firm DWF of Food Manufacture’s ​Business Leaders’ Forum, which was held in London on January 23.

Meanwhile, building strong export links with Europe will be just as important as trading with new markets after Brexit, according to Wyke Farms md Richard Clothier in our exclusive video interview​.

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