Leading Food Service Wholesaler Helps to Fight Food Poverty

Prif Gyfanwerthwr Bwyd Cymru yn Helpu Ymladd Tlodi Bwyd

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Castell Howell Foods, Wales’ leading independent food service wholesaler, based at Cross Hands Food Park has announced a new surplus food partnership with Cardiff based food charity, FareShare Cymru.

As we know, from March 2020 the foodservice supply chain has struggled with lockdowns, closures, limited menus and low consumer confidence, regrettably incurring a higher than usual quantity of potential food waste.

The partnership will engage with suppliers of Castell Howell to help re-distribute any surplus food to the FareShare Cymru depot in Cardiff, and then on to 164 charities, (including those who feature on the Business in the Community (BiTC), National Business Response Network) that rely on food donations.

The benefits of this new partnership include:

  • Redirecting surpluses that would otherwise be wasted, businesses can help ensure people in their community get the food they need, as well as reducing an organisation’s impact on the environment.
  • Providing the food sector with a business solution that could save operational waste costs; WRAP Business Waste Performance and Cost Calculator
  • Alignment with the wider responsible business agenda and legislation such as The Future Generations Act.

Edward Morgan, Group CSR & Training Manager at Castell Howell Foods, said:  

“‘Covid-19 has induced lockdowns of the hospitality sector that have resulted in a drastic downturn in sales. This has led to a backlog of food stock in the supply chain that may become surplus to requirements.

“Castell Howell has an extensive supplier base, and in partnership with Fareshare Cymru we’re reaching out to see how we can work collaboratively to ensure that any surplus food is not wasted and reaches those individuals most in need.”

Projects which receive food from FareShare include community centres, foodbanks and homeless shelters. The food FareShare distributes – such as fresh fruit, veg, meat and non-perishable items including pasta and tins – is surplus but still good to eat and would otherwise go to waste. Food becomes surplus for all manner of reasons, including labelling errors, discontinued lines, samples, and fruit and veg past its Best Before End (BBE), to bulk ingredients for manufacturing.

Sarah Germain, manager of FareShare Cymru, said:

“As we navigate what will be a difficult and uncertain winter for many vulnerable people across Wales, the need for FareShare’s service has never been higher. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have more than doubled the amount of food distributed each week and we will continue to get these vital food supplies through the second peak. Partnering with Castell Howell Food therefore comes at a crucial time and we look forward to working with them to ensure good surplus food gets onto the plates of those who need it most.”

Since the lockdown was first introduced in March, FareShare Cymru has more than doubled the amount of food it distributes – from the equivalent of 25,000 to more than 55,000 meals each week.

The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:

“We all need to play our part in tackling unnecessary food waste in Wales and the UK. This partnership is exactly the sort of creative thinking and industry collaboration that is needed to generate a real change in sustainable practices.

“We are keen to continue to see collaboration between businesses and charities, working together to explore more ways of reducing waste through increased redistribution.

“Covid-19 is impacting the Welsh food and drink sector and it great to see more retailers within the food service sector are keen to explore better ways to safeguard our environment and meet their customer needs.”

If you are a food supplier and want to get involved, contact [email protected].