In 2015, the major British supermarket Tesco’s food waste amounted to 59,400 tonnes. That’s enough to make 119 MILLION meals from one supermarket alone.
However, we’ve not got to this figure overnight, far from it. In fact, year this figure is growing, with an increase of 4% when compared to 2014.
So, what can we gather from this? Our supermarkets commitment to reducing food waste is worse than ever. I say our supermarkets, although I don’t really know. That’s because Tesco is the only major supermarket to be daring enough to post such figures.
However, in the UK one man and his team of volunteers is looking to change all that, with the launch of The Real Junk Food Project.
What Is The Real Junk Food Project
TRJFP was launched by professional chef Adam Smith in December 2013.
Whilst in Australia, Adam witnessed the scale of food waste, agriculturally and within the catering industry. Upon his return to the UK, together with his partner, Johanna, he was inspired to set up TRJFP.
The Real Junk Food Project has taken tonnes of food that is being thrown away by supermarkets which is completely safe to eat and used it to feed people. They do this with TRJFP Cafés and the recently launched supermarkets. Both of which are ‘pay as you feel’.
TRJFP doesn’t just feed homeless people or refugee’s the idea is to feed EVERYONE. Regardless of race, religion or background. However, TRJFP doesn’t just get their food from mainstream supermarkets.
Donations come in all shapes and sizes including; allotments, food banks, restaurants, cafés, food photographers, events and functions. Although the cafe project started in Leeds, there are now a magnitude of TRJFP cafe’s across the world. Use this handy tool to find the one most local to you.
The Real Junk Food Project Supermarkets
Two years after the successful launch of their first cafe. TRJFP went onto launch a PAYF supermarket in Pudsey, Leeds.
It’s somewhere that Helen and I have had the pleasure of visiting on numerous occasions, including Christmas Eve (one of the biggest days of wasted food). However, even in just the past 18 months, the team at TRJFP have gone on to set up another supermarket in Sheffield.
The Real Junk Food Project team have the ambition to open one of these supermarkets and a number of there boutique cafe’s in every major city in the UK (they’ve already achieved almost 100 at the time of writing).
I for one believe that based on their current popularity and speed of growth this is a highly achievable target. Contact the team on Facebook or through their website to find out how you can help contribute in your local area. As with all the initiatives, customers are invited to pay for their meal in money, time and skills.
It’s worth mentioning that the UK isn’t the only one to be trailing such ‘supermarkets’ in a bid to reduce food waste. In Denmark the NGO DanChurchAid have opened up a store selling expired – but safe to consume food for a discounted rate. The supermarket is known as WeFood and much like TRJFP it’s doing so well that a second store has opened.