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Food

Redistributing Cosmetic Food Waste Gleaning Network UK saves fresh fruit and vegetables from being wasted on UK farms, and redistributes them to food poverty charities.

ENVIRONMENTAL According to the Gleaning Network UK, approximately 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from producing, transporting, storing, and preparing food that is never eaten.

SOCIAL One metric ton of gleaned produce provides roughly 12,500 portions of food, and Gleaning Network UK plans to reach 36 metric tons of produce by September 2013.

Farmers across the UK often have no choice but to leave tons of their crops unharvested. Not because it is inedible, but because it does not look appealing. According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, as much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2 billion metric tons – ends up as waste every year. Gleaning Network UK coordinates teams of volunteers, local farmers, and food redistribution charities to salvage food and redistribute it to food poverty charities like homeless hostels. So far, several tons of British produce have been redistributed, and the network is growing. Why a Sustainia100 solution? According to FareShare, 5.8 million people suffer from deep poverty in the UK, and this number is on the rise. Meanwhile, an estimated 20-40% of UK fruit and vegetables are rejected even before they reach the shops, often because of strict supermarket cosmetic standards. Gleaning Network UK target to reduce food waste and food poverty at the same time.

ECONOMIC Gleaning Network UK estimates that increasing the proportion of a farmer’s crop reaching the shelves by just 5% increases profit margins by up to 60%.

Developed in UK Deployed in UK

Volunteers reclaim apples from being wasted at a farm in Kent. Two metric tons of apples from this one day were donated to FareShare in London.

Solution by Gleaning Network UK 45


2013 Sustainia100