London Mayor launches food waste scheme for small businesses

BORIS JOHNSON, the Mayor of London, has launched ‘FoodSave’ a new scheme to help small food businesses reduce their waste.


Food waste is a huge issue in the UK. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimate that around 15 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away every year, of which four million is from food service, restaurants and manufacturing. Food waste makes up 41% of all waste generated by the UK hospitality sector.


To help address this, the Mayor is working in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund and London Waste and Recycling Board to support over 240 small and medium-sized businesses in cutting food waste over the next 18 months.


The ‘FoodSave’ project will help businesses in a variety of ways including:

  • Identifying where most food is wasted
  • Providing advice on how to reduce food waste
  • Helping businesses send food to people in need through organisations that redistribute food
  • Helping businesses to direct food waste to feed animals such as pigs (where legally permitted)
  • Where food waste can’t be avoided, support composting and renewable energy generation


Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s Senior Adviser on Environment said: “FoodSave is a brilliant initiative that can help businesses reduce their food waste disposal costs and become more efficient. I encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved and both save money and help the environment.”


FoodSave will directly support 240 businesses, and by March 2015 aims to achieve overall savings of £360,000 and prevent more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste being sent to landfill. The Sustainable Restaurant Association will work with restaurants, hotels, pubs, quick service restaurants and canteens. Sustain will work with businesses involved in food retail, food manufacturing and preparation, food growing, farming, catering, street food, market stalls and wholesale markets.