Caring about communities and the planet are at the core of the partnership between FareShare and Britvic. FareShare is the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste. We have a network of warehouses across the UK that support charities and community groups in their local areas. We work with over 8,500 charities in communities from Devon and Cornwall up to the Highlands in Scotland. FareShare collects surplus food and drink from companies such as Britvic and distributes via charities to the people who need it most in our society. Every year three million tonnes of food and drink are wasted across the UK food and beverage industry (WWF, 2022).
At the same time the cost-of-living crisis has led to the highest rises in food and drink prices for 45 years (ONS, 2023). According to the latest figures from the Food Foundation 13.3 million people, including four million children, are experiencing food insecurity. This is equivalent to around one fifth of the total UK population.
A survey of FareShare’s charities in October 2022 showed that the cost of living crisis is having a big impact on their operations. The charities that we support were seeing a staggering 90% increase in demand, and 70% of that was arising from people who were accessing support for the first time.
We are proud to work with companies like Britvic who share our mission that surplus drinks should be used to help people rather than being wasted.
FareShare and Britvic have been working together for a number of years distributing surplus drinks around the country. To date we have redistributed just over 200,000 drinks servings to 1,375 charities across the UK. We work with charities that provide not just food and drink services but that also provide vital wrap around services offering a hand up not a handout. For example, they might provide food parcels alongside wellbeing or debt relief services, offer a community meal for older people to combat social isolation or an after-school club that offers cooking skills for families.
Earlier this year, Shay Dempsey and Rhiannon Edwards from FareShare Midlands and FareShare UK respectively visited Britvic’s Rugby site to understand how we can work together further. We took a tour of the factory floor to understand where surplus and waste can occur and discussed ideas on how we could collect it effectively and efficiently from site. We extend huge thanks to Paul Murgett, Pooja Odedra and Pelumi Alabi for taking time out to come meet with us and show us around.
We are now working on cementing a partnership that is not only beneficial to communities locally but nationally across the UK with your surplus drinks but also an effective solution to minimise waste. We want to show you how much working together can change the lives of people across the country.
Let’s change the conversation about waste drinks, it’s not waste, it is simply surplus to requirement. Although creating surplus is not wanted, when it does occur let’s use it to create a difference rather than throwing it away.
Interested in finding out more about FareShare? Visit fareshare.org.uk to read more about our work.
Rhiannon Edwards | Commercial Officer – Ambient and Bakery, FareShare