Food waste is a huge issue. Food production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change – about one-third of greenhouse emissions globally come from agriculture.
Despite this, both at the household level and at the manufacturing level, we are very wasteful when it comes to food. 30% of the food we produce is wasted – about 1.8 billion tonnes of it a year. So much so, that it has been estimated that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
What Can We Do?
There are lots of food waste tips you can follow at home to reduce your food waste. However, the buck shouldn’t just stop with householders.
What about manufacturers? They have a huge part to play in reducing food waste. The good news is that there is a host of companies out there, making not just one product, but their entire range from surplus food, or food waste.
The Companies Fighting Food Waste
UK companies are leading the way in reducing food waste. From chutneys and preserves from imperfect produce; to gin made from wine industry leftovers. From beer made from surplus bread; to beauty products from cafe waste – there’s an innovative solution to many of our food waste problems.
Here are five such companies leading the way in the fight against food waste. This post uses affiliate links which are denoted by an *.
Rubies In The Rubble
Rubies In The Rubble make ketchup, vegan mayonnaise, chutneys, and preserves out of fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. This produce goes to waste not because they taste any different, but often because they’re the wrong shape, size, or colour for supermarkets, or because the produce doesn’t look a certain way. In some cases, the produce is too ripe and doesn’t meet the supermarket’s strict shelf life criteria, and other times there may have been an overabundance of a crop.
UpCircle Beauty started with the idea of giving used coffee grounds from cafes a new lease of life into delicious scented face and body scrubs. So much so, that UpCircle Beauty has now reused more than 250 tonnes used coffee grounds in their sustainable skincare products.
They have since expanded their range, and their soaps give brewed chai tea spices a new beginning, whilst other products, such as moisturisers and serums, are made with discarded fruit stones.
You can buy their skincare products online from Beauty Bay*.
Foxhole Spirits make delicious gins and rums made from by-products from the wine industry.
Working with the Bolney Wine Estate in West Sussex, their Foxhole Gin is made from leftovers from the English winemaking industry, such as the leftover pressing juices and grapes.
Their Hyke Gin is made from internationally sourced grapes that are deemed as “not suitable for fresh consumption”. Working in collaboration with one of the UK’s biggest fruit importers, Foxhole are managing to use 1.4 million punnets of surplus grapes per year, which otherwise would have gone to waste.
Buy their spirits directly from their website or in selected branches of Tesco, Waitrose and M&S.
Toast Ale brew beer made using surplus fresh bread sourced from bakeries and sandwich makers that would otherwise go to waste. Using surplus bread reduces the need for virgin grain, reducing the demand for land, water and energy, and helps reduce carbon emissions too.
What’s more, all profits go to the environmental charity Feedback to help end food waste and fund systemic change to fix the food system.
Their range of beers – from craft lager, to pale ale, American pale ale and session IPA – can be purchased direct from Toast (with 10% your first order if you subscribe to their newsletter) with free delivery, or in selected branches of Waitrose and the Co-Op.
Urban Cordial use surplus fruits sourced from British farms to make their range of low sugar grown-up cordials. Each flavour is made in small batches to create cordials bursting with taste.
The fruits used are deemed not suitable for sale in supermarkets – perhaps being too small, too big, or too lumpy, having imperfections, or just not being the right shape. So far Urban Cordial has helped to save over 30 tonnes of fruit from landfill.
At the moment, their seasonal ranges include Strawberry and Sage, Pear and Ginger, Elderflower, and Blackberry and Lavender, which can be purchased direct from the Urban Cordial website.