Greens of the future: Greenyard and FareShare combat food waste

People in the UK throw away over 6 million tonnes of food a year – enough food to fill Wembley Stadium eight times over! But not everyone just stands by and watches food go to waste. FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, is stepping up its efforts to turn the tide. With the dedicated support of organisations like Greenyard Frozen, it now distributes the equivalent of over 2 million meals a week to frontline charities.

Purple carrots add colour to the diets of vulnerable people
“As a key supplier of fruit and vegetables, we experience food waste first-hand”, says Laura Dixon, Customer Service Manager at Greenyard Frozen UK. “Through FareShare, we want to put an end to it. For example, when a trial with purple specialty carrots turned out to be less successful than we’d hoped, we diverted the surplus carrots to create the equivalent of about 80,000 meals for vulnerable people – which FareShare then distributes to its extensive network of frontline charities.”


Multifaceted support
The long-term cooperation between Greenyard Frozen UK and FareShare isn’t limited to one-off food donations. Laura Dixon: “On the contrary, our main contributions concern the storage, packaging and transport of food surpluses. The last 12 months in particular were very challenging on that front. Due to COVID-19, FareShare suddenly received surpluses from all over the food and hospitality industry. We assisted, for example, by freezing batches of berries, thus extending their shelf life. Frozen fruit and vegetables are extremely valuable to charities, as it means they can provide the people they support with a varied and healthy menu.

“Besides the operational support, Greenyard Frozen UK still regularly donates surpluses. Many clients refuse frozen food that expires in less than 3 or 6 months. But FareShare is happy to take over our pallets of quality, good-to-eat veggies and fruit, which are often delivered for free by our hauliers.”


Different strategy, same ambition
Although sales of frozen fruit and vegetables have boomed in 2020 and continue to do so, Greenyard Frozen still finds the space to dedicate resources to FareShare. “We’ve been running at max capacity for a while now”, asserts Jasmine Collins, Category Marketing and Insight Manager at Greenyard Frozen. “But we see reducing food waste as an integral part of our overall strategy. After all, it links perfectly to our vision of creating a healthier future. We ultimately want healthy food to reach the plates of people in an easy, fast, pleasurable and sustainable manner. Surplus food serves that goal just as well.”


Towards a sustainable planet
Reducing food waste not only matches Greenyard’s vision, but it also helps the company to achieve some of its sustainability commitments, such as halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and fighting climate change. 

Reducing food waste helps ...
... to relieve agriculture, which accounts for a third of global greenhouse emissions.
... to avoid unnecessary transport and packaging.
... to keep food prices affordable for everyone.
... to save water, as 70% of all clear water is used in food supply chains.
... to minimise the amount of methane that is released by food rotting in landfills.

The list goes on. Jasmine Collins: “It’s hard to overestimate the positive impact that organisations like FareShare have. Therefore, we’re proud they use Greenyard Frozen as a test case to convince others to jump on the bandwagon. Only by joining all forces will we be able to turn the tide.”

Want to know more about how we combat food waste and achieve our sustainability ambitions? 
Download our sustainability report.