The government has appointed its first Food Surplus and Waste Champion
By Diego Flammini
England has chosen someone to help reduce the amount of food that ends up in garbage bins.
Michael Gove, England’s environment secretary, appointed Ben Elliot as the country’s first Food Surplus and Waste Champion. Elliott is a philanthropist and co-founder of lifestyle group Quintessentially. He is also the Duchess of Cornwall’s nephew.
In his role, Elliot will manage the Food Waste Fund, a £15-million (US$19-million) plan to help redistribute food.
The government has set a target of eliminating food waste sent to landfills by 2030.
About 100,000 tonnes of food, or about 250 million edible meals go uneaten, and are sent for processing, to a landfill or turned into animal feed each year, the federal government said in October.
Ensuring that food is redirected to hungry citizens is crucial, Elliott said.
“There continues to be an unforgiveable amount of food waste which is both morally deplorable and largely avoidable,” he said, Reuters reported. “As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to (a) landfill.”
Food waste is an issue in the European Union.
About 88 million tonnes of food is wasted annually at an estimated cost of €143 billion (US$163 billion). Eliminating food waste can help save farmers money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the European Commission says.
Ben Elliot photo