Purpose for Surplus showcase calls on suppliers for more food

Bristol event brings together food producers across the region to celebrate their contribution, and spread the word.

One in five parents in the south west are struggling to feed their kids.

FareShare South West fights hunger and food waste by taking good-to-eat surplus food from suppliers and distributing it to over 400 frontline charities – but more food is desperately needed.

On Friday 29 September, many of our food suppliers gathered together with Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and frontline charity Somerset Pantry to call for greater collaboration to tackle food poverty.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, FareShare South West CEO Gene Joyner, MP Kerry McCarthy, Councillor Ellie King stand outside the URC church in Bedminster, next to two FareShare South West banners.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, FareShare South West CEO Gene Joyner, MP Kerry McCarthy, Councillor Ellie King

The charities we work with tell us people are desperately in need and are asking for further support. We have another 258 further charities wanting to sign up, representing a further 30,000 local people in need, but we lack enough food to meet to help them. We need more local suppliers to help.

Gene Joyner, Chief Executive FareShare South West

Our existing supporters in the food industry – from big suppliers like Charlie Bighams and Yeo Valley to smaller partners like Community Farm in Chew Magna – work with us to unlock their surplus food for good.

But high energy costs, the war in Ukraine and supply chain challenges mean we’re struggling to meet the scale of demand.

Helen Phillips mid-speech.
Helen Phillips, Local Pantry Project Manager at Somerset Council, sharing how the local pantries don’t only provide vital nutritious food, but also support people to learn how to cook and connect them with other services

The vast majority of food waste occurs in the supply chain, before ever going on sale.  Over six million tonnes of edible in-date food is sent to landfill each year for a range of reasons from packaging errors to inaccurate demand forecasting – enough to create 10.5 billion nutritious meals.

Suppliers meet and chat at the showcase

After the event, attendees joined a tour of the Vale Lane warehouse to see the surplus food being picked and packed by our volunteers, ready to be delivered to the 404 charities we already support.

Andy Simpson from Yeo Valley talking about their seven-year partnership with FareShare South West

This was the first of a series of regional showcases for FareShare UK, who are calling on suppliers to step up and do more to support our network partners across the country.

Get involved

How can you help?

If you’re a local food producer or a part of the supply chain, we’d love to hear from you about how we can support you to give a purpose to your surplus.

Not a supplier?

There are many other ways to support FareShare South West at this crucial time, from volunteering, donating and fundraising to simply spreading the word.

FareShare is the only charity to take food from the wholesale level of the food industry

The vast majority of surplus occurs before food even gets to the supermarket. Each member of the FareShare network rescues that food and delivers it to those in need. FareShare Go is our supermarket collection service, which deals with supermarket-level surplus.

Find out more about what we do