At a launch event in parliament yesterday, Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East, presented the case for her new Food Waste Bill.
This was the first step in her campaign to put into law the principle that whilst there are hungry people in the UK, it is ethically corrupt that edible food be thrown into landfill. It will receive its first parliamentary hearing tomorrow (14th March), right after Prime Ministers question time.
If the Bill is successful it will ensure that more food is donated to charities like FareShare for redistribution to people who really need it. More information on the Bill can be found here.
The event was attended by key stakeholders; Peers and MP’s, environmental organisations and representatives from food redistribution charities, including FareShare’s Lindsay Boswell (CEO) and Matthew Roberts (Education Programme Coordinator, FareShare South West).
Tristram Stuart spoke in support, saying that the Bill was a “no brainer”, offering a direct and much needed relief to pressing environmental and social problems. Tristram is author of the Sophie Prize winning book ‘Waste: Uncovering the global food scandal’.
Jim Larson, Programme Development Director of Food Donation Connection, followed with his view from the United States, where a similar law is already in place. This law, The Good Samaritan Act, contributes to the fact that the percentage of edible surplus food being donated to charities for redistribution in the US is ten fold greater than in the UK.
The evidence seems overwhelming that this Bill would be a boon to the 4 million people suffering food poverty the UK and would incentivize food producers and retailers to reassess their approach to food waste.
If you would like to voice support for Kerry, please write to your MP and encourage them to support her. Advice on how to do this can be found here.
Up to date information on the campaign can be found on the Food Bill Facebook page.