Surplus Food Charter

Why Food Waste Matters

WRAP estimates that the financial cost of food waste can amount to as much as 4% of turnover in food organisations, and many organisations underestimate the cost of waste. When food waste is viewed in the context of constituent materials, energy, cost of treatment, wasted effort and wasted staff costs, the true value can be as much as five times higher than the purchase and disposal price alone.


In our region, one in four children is living in poverty. Many local jobs are low-paid, insecure or part time. Foodbank use in Doncaster is significantly higher than the national average, and as people become stuck in poverty cycles, food insecurity grows. Hunger contributes to poor physical and mental health, and is linked to lower attainment in schools. Redirecting surplus foods can provide short-term relief to individuals and families experiencing food poverty, and may also change attitudes towards our society, which wastes a third of all the food it produces.


According to the United Nations, the total land used to grow food that is subsequently wasted amounts to 5.4 million square miles. That’s the same size as the entire continent of Europe, plus India and Egypt. Agriculture accounts for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and by reducing food waste, a significant proportion of these emissions could be avoided.


Surplus Food Pyramid


Ensuring that food is eaten by people should be the highest priority. The pyramid is a handy reminder of the stages to consider when dealing with surplus food. To promote sustainability, health, efficiency and good environmental practice, individuals and organisations are encouraged to consider each level of the pyramid, and aim to ensure that their surplus food is dealt with at the highest level of the pyramid.

Surplus Food Pyramid