FCO Partners with FareShare and The Felix Project to Streamline Food Donations and Reduce Waste

FCO Partners with FareShare and The Felix Project to Streamline Food Donations and Reduce Waste

In an effort to combat food waste and alleviate hunger in the United Kingdom, FCO, the world’s leading provider of Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs), has announced an expanded partnership with FareShare and The Felix Project, two prominent food redistribution charities. The collaboration aims to facilitate the donation of surplus food from producers, suppliers, and retailers to these charitable organizations, enabling them to distribute fresh and healthy meals to those in need more efficiently and safely. FareShare and The Felix Project work closely with the food industry to salvage good surplus food that would otherwise go to waste, landfills, or anaerobic digestion.

The agreement strengthens IFCO’s commitment to reducing food waste in the fresh produce supply chain. Since being selected as the official partner for Reusable Packaging Containers by the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) in October 2022, IFCO has provided sustainable RPCs to food banks across Europe, including FareShare and The Felix Project, to support their food distribution efforts.

Recognizing that food donations are not a long-term solution to food poverty, IFCO acknowledges the vital role of professional redistribution of quality surplus food. With this in mind, IFCO has made it even easier for suppliers and retailers to donate fresh produce in IFCO RPCs to the FareShare and The Felix Project networks. The partnership ensures a smoother flow of fresh produce from a broader range of suppliers to food banks and simplifies the return of RPCs into the IFCO pooling system. Leveraging IFCO’s digital solutions, both FareShare and The Felix Project now utilize the MyIFCO app to declare and schedule the pick-up of IFCO RPCs, streamlining the return process.

FareShare, the UK’s largest charity dedicated to fighting hunger and food waste, collaborates with the food industry to source and distribute over 50,000 tonnes of surplus food annually to 8,500 organizations throughout the country, equivalent to approximately 128 million meals for vulnerable individuals. IFCO’s direct involvement in the UK operation provides crucial support to FareShare’s mission.

Kris Gibbon-Walsh, Director of Network, Community & Operations at FareShare, praised IFCO’s strategic and impactful contribution, highlighting the removal of barriers that hindered suppliers and retailers from donating surplus food. The partnership expands FareShare’s network of potential suppliers, addressing the surging demand for nutritious food amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

The Felix Project, London’s largest food redistribution charity, delivered over 29 million meals in 2022, reaching every borough of the city. While it is part of the FareShare network, The Felix Project independently sources more than half of its high-quality surplus food, which is then distributed to around 1,000 charitable organizations and schools in the capital.

Richard Smith, Deputy Head of Food Supply at The Felix Project, emphasized how the IFCO partnership attracted new suppliers, including manufacturers, who were previously hesitant due to potential costs and increased workload. With IFCO’s support, these suppliers are now eager to join The Felix Project’s network.

IFCO remains committed to reducing food waste and promoting sustainability in the global fresh grocery supply chain. Their RPCs are designed to safeguard fresh products throughout the value chain, preserving their condition and extending their shelf life, ultimately reducing the likelihood of them ending up in landfills. Independent scientific studies have confirmed that RPCs effectively reduce food waste by providing superior product protection and ventilation.

Since 2016, IFCO has been partnering with FareShare in their mission to combat hunger and food waste and has worked with The Felix Project since 2020.

Neil Stewart, Asset Control Manager at IFCO and leader of the UK food bank collaboration, expressed pride and excitement in supporting FareShare and The Felix Project. Stewart hopes that their contribution will encourage more suppliers to join the network, enabling these charities to reach more communities in need. Additionally, many of IFCO’s UK employees have been inspired by the impact of FareShare and The Felix Project, with some planning to use their annual paid volunteering leave to assist the food banks and distribution centers operated by these charities. This commitment from the UK IFCO team underscores their dedication to the success of this partnership.

 

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