Logistics and supply chain expert Fowler Welch has hit a major milestone with its charity partner of three years: redistributing enough surplus food to provide 3 million meals to vulnerable people.
The business joined forces with the FareShare charity three years ago, when several Fowler Welch customers voiced concerns about how best to deal with surplus product. They were keen to redistribute surplus food and thus reduce food waste but struggling with the logistics involved in finding a sustainable solution.
Fowler Welch combined its expertise with FareShare’s efforts to redistribute good quality, in-date surplus food to almost 10,000 charities across the UK including domestic violence refuges, breakfast clubs, hospices and food banks.
The team developed a system that enables food customers to add surplus stock onto their usual collections, reducing waste without creating extra work and in doing so delivering a simple, cost-free way to support FareShare.
Originally launched on the South Coast, but expanded in 2018 to cover suppliers from the Spalding area, the Fowler Welch/FareShare collaboration means customers can donate their surplus food to people who need it most.
Fowler Welch is currently working with 40 suppliers to support the scheme, which in turn has now delivered more than 3 million meals to vulnerable people.
Since the partnership began, the relationship has developed to provide other services that benefit the charity, such as staff volunteering days.
The Fowler Welch network is also used to provide transport solutions between major retailers and FareShare hubs, while the site at Heywood has been used to store and distribute stock donated as part of the annual Tesco Christmas Food Drive campaign.
Nick Hay, CEO Fowler Welch, said: “As a socially responsible business and a leader in sustainability, with recognised CSR credentials, we are always keen to explore ways in which we can reduce food waste and give back to the community. Food waste is an issue of growing concern among our customers and having an opportunity like this which enables our customers to put surplus product to good use in their local area and beyond is a win-win.
“Since starting the partnership with FareShare three years ago, we’ve seen continued success and interest from our customers, which shows no sign of slowing down. We’re incredibly proud of the role we’ve played in helping FareShare deliver more than 3 million meals to vulnerable people across the country and this collaborative success has all stemmed from our commitment to listen, respond and deliver.”
Plans to expand the scheme further include a supplier roadshow in Heywood later in the year, inviting major brands to visit the site to learn more about FareShare, the growing partnership and how the scheme works.
Lindsay Boswell, CEO FareShare, said: “Working with Fowler Welch has presented a huge opportunity for FareShare to increase the volumes of food we send to the people who need it most. They recognised that food waste was a growing concern among their customers and provided a solution through FareShare that benefits both their suppliers and the thousands of charities and community groups FareShare supports.
“We’re proud of our partnership with Fowler Welch and thank them for helping us unlock a huge amount of fresh, nutritious food for frontline charities around the UK.”