Surplus food redistribution: WRAP's work

WRAP is working with retailers and manufacturers, logistics and redistribution organisations, together with industry bodies, to identify ways of increasing the beneficial use of surplus food.

Preventing food waste is a key priority for the food & drink sector, governments and individuals.  Preventing food waste at source should always come first, but surpluses can arise for a number of reasons; for example, food incorrectly labelled, over-ordered, over-supplied or obsolete seasonal stock.


Food Waste Reduction Fund

In December 2017, a new Food Waste Reduction Fund was announced, to support the redistribution of quality surplus food to people in need throughout England. 

The fund, which recieved more than 120 expressions of interest, will be distributed to eight charities and not-for-profit groups. They will each receive grants from the £500,000 Government fund which will be administered by WRAP. The grants will help provide the essential resources needed to expand their important work. 

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 Surplus Food Redistribution Working Group

WRAP’s report ‘Quantification of food surplus, waste and related materials in the grocery supply chain’. concluded that where food waste cannot be prevented, there is potential - at a UK level - to increase both redistribution and diversion to animal feed. Overall this could prevent around 450,000 tonnes of food waste every year.

As part of the Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025) WRAP has established a Surplus Food Redistribution Working Group to:

  • provide a forum to look at practical ways to increase food redistribution;
  • discuss and share best practice;
  • identify barriers and opportunities; and
  • oversee the development of relevant new resources and approaches to monitoring progress. 

Shared vision statement

C2025 signatories have agreed a shared vision and level of ambition to work collaboratively with WRAP to double the amount of surplus food they redistribute by 2020 against a 2015 baseline.

The shared vision, and level of ambition, is jointly owned by WRAP and C2025 business partner signatories and relates to the amount of food surplus being redistributed by C2025 signatories from the retail, manufacturing, hospitality and food service sectors.

Food redistribution shared vision statement
‘The Courtauld Commitment 2025 (C2025) is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together organisations across the UK food system - from producer to consumer - to reduce food and drink waste by 20% by 2025.
'Our shared vision is that, where food surpluses cannot be avoided, all UK food and drink companies should seek to redistribute surplus food ahead of any other option. 
'As part of C2025, business signatories including leading retailers, manufacturers, and food redistribution organisations have agreed an ambition to work collaboratively with WRAP to double the amount of surplus food they redistribute by 2020 against a 2015 baseline.' 

Read the 2019 summary of a study into barriers and opportunities to increase redistribution of surplus food here.