Ground-breaking project takes flight: Food Loop starts the fight against food waste in Kent and Northamptonshire

Following eight months of fundraising to turn an idea into reality, Produced in Kent is thrilled to announce that FoodLoop, a B2B app connecting suppliers of surplus food and food waste with those needing food, will be developed and trialled in two counties from Monday 7 February 2022. Businesses, charities and community initiatives can now register (free for the first 12 months) at www.foodloop.app to take part in a 12-month trial project.

A staggering 6.4 million tonnes of edible food is wasted in the UK every year, which would make the equivalent of over 15 billion meals – enough to feed the entire UK population 3 meals a day for 11 weeks. Of that 6.4Mt, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) has estimated food waste levels pre-farm gate at 1.6 Mt.

“FoodLoop could be a game changer in reducing edible food waste levels in the food-producing sector” says Floortje Hoette, CEO of Produced in Kent. “It enables the county’s growers, producers, butchers, farmers and shops, restaurants and pubs to connect with and get food to those who need it. Food-sharing apps such as OLIO and Too Good To Go have proven to be powerful online tools to minimise household food waste and redistribute surplus food directly to the consumer. FoodLoop offers a business-to-business solution, typically for larger quantities of fresh and ambient food within a county, creating a local circular economy for surplus food with a very small carbon footprint. Surplus food can be made into a new product or redistributed to those in need, giving more people access to a greater variety of good food. We are incredibly grateful to all the food loop champions and crowd funding donors who have helped to make this happen”.

While raising funds for FoodLoop, Produced in Kent was contacted by food and drink member organisation Made in Northamptonshire (MiN), who expressed an interest in becoming the second trial location for FoodLoop. Rachel Mallows, CEO for MiN explains, ”Thanks to the support received from our local council we are able to participate in this exciting project. If FoodLoop is successful in Kent and Northamptonshire, then there is no reason why it could not be taken on by other counties in the UK. We have to all work together to eliminate edible food waste”.

Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go, strategic partner of FoodLoop wholeheartedly supports the initiative which he sees as a complementary service to his own app: “It’s fantastic to see FoodLoop reach their crowdfunding goal and begin its exciting launch phase. Innovations like FoodLoop are vital for ensuring that no edible food is left uneaten and so it’s great to see that the public agree with the need to address food waste.”

Registration on the app is free during the 12-month project period and Floortje Hoette urges businesses, charities and community initiatives in Kent to register on the FoodLoop webpage www.foodloop.app while the app is being developed: “Key to the success of the project is that as many organisations as possible sign up to the app and take part in the trial which runs from 4 April 2022 to 6 February 2023”.

During the trial, data will be collected at the backend of the app which will give insight into the volume of food waste being upcycled, redistributed and recycled through FoodLoop in Kent and in Northamptonshire. This, in turn, will help to inform further action and policy development around food waste elimination.

If you are a food or drink business in Kent that wants to tackle food waste, get onboard and take part in the FoodLoop project by registering TODAY via: www.foodloop.app.

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