Premier Foods and FareShare launch five-year partnership

New partnership will provide funding and surplus food
October 11, 2022

Watch launch video

  • New partnership will provide surplus food to nearly 9,500 charities and community groups, plus funding to enable the redistribution of this food
  • The partnership will span five years and will play a key role in delivering Premier Foods’ goals of donating 1 million meals and 1,000 volunteering days per year, while halving its food waste by 2030
  • Since 2020, Premier Foods has provided and delivered the equivalent of over 1.3 million meals to FareShare

Premier Foods, one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers and home to some of the nation’s best-loved brands, and FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, have today unveiled a new long-term partnership aimed at tackling food waste and supporting those in food poverty.

As part of the multifaceted partnership, which will span five years, Premier Foods will provide food donations directly to FareShare, which will be redistributed to nearly 9,500 charities and community groups in its network. Premier Foods will also provide funding to enable FareShare to redistribute food across its network of 31 warehouses across the UK.

Not only will the partnership help to put food on the tables of people in need, at a time when 9.9 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat and following the recent launch of FareShares cost-of-living crisis appeal for food donations, it will also help reduce the amount of food going to waste.

Today’s news builds on Premier Foods’ continued efforts to tackle food waste, which includes last year doubling the amount of food redistributed for human consumption to 750 tonnes and achieving zero waste to landfill status since 2016. Building on this progress and drawing on FareShare’s expertise, Premier Foods will further review 10 of its manufacturing sites to identify and unlock innovative new ways to reduce food waste even further in its own operations and encourage suppliers and consumers to do the same. Currently, 9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted across the food industry every year in the UK. According to climate action NGO WRAP, the highest proportion comes from the home with 4.5 million tonnes of edible food going to waste each year, which equates to a UK household throwing away on average eight meals a week. Last month, the Company launched a brand new food waste reduction campaign and microsite, “Fresh take on food waste”, which allows households to input leftover ingredients in their fridge and generate a tailored recipe incorporating them and their chosen cooking sauce.

Catherine David, director of collaboration and change, WRAP, said: “We’re delighted by this announcement from our partners Premier Foods and FareShare, who are showing real leadership in the fight on food waste. The redistribution of food to people who need it is a good thing for society, and for the planet. Since WRAP began working in this area in 2015, levels of redistribution have increased more than three-fold and by 2021 around 426,000 tonnes of surplus food had been redistributed. We call on more businesses to collaborate to ensure that no good food goes in the bin.”

Consisting of seven distinct workstreams (see below), the new partnership is a great example of a multifaceted corporate partnership. Alongside the donation of food, the two organisations will work together on a number of projects; from Premier Foods’ colleagues volunteering their time, expertise and skills at FareShare’s redistribution warehouses and the charities they support, to employee engagement programmes and community initiatives.

Premier Foods will also work in partnership with its retailer partners and FareShare to co-design creative marketing campaigns such as the Tesco ‘Win a Dinner Give a Dinner campaign’ – an on-pack competition on selected lines of OXO, Bisto, Paxo, Loyd Grossman and Sharwood’s, giving consumers the chance to win £10 vouchers to purchase a ‘dinner’ for themselves and their family. For each competition winner, £10 was donated to FareShare, with winners also given the option to donate their £10 win to FareShare, in addition to Premier Foods’ matched donation. Launched in January 2022, this campaign delivered the equivalent of 180,000 meals to FareShare in nine months.

Progress will be tracked over time and both organisations will work closely together to ensure the work has the greatest possible positive impact on communities across the UK.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with Premier Foods to help achieve their commitments to deliver the equivalent of 1m meals and 1,000 volunteering days a year, which will help us get good-to-eat, surplus food, that may otherwise go to waste, to our network of nearly 9,500 charities across the UK. Alongside this, we’re honoured to be part of their ambitions to halve the Company’s food waste by 2030, which aligns perfectly with our mission to tackle food waste and hunger in the UK.”

Commenting on the partnership, Alex Whitehouse, CEO, Premier Foods, said: “Food poverty is an issue that impacts more than one in ten people in the UK. Yet, at the same time, over 2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted every year, the equivalent to 1.3 billion meals. As one of the UK’s leading food businesses, and home to some of the nation’s favourite brands, we know we have a key role to play in tackling these important, interlinked issues and believe we can make a real difference in the communities we operate in. That’s why back in 2017 we pledged to halve our food waste by 50% by 2030 and in the first year of the pandemic alone, we donated 600,000 meals to local communities.

“However, it’s now time to dial up our progress, which is why, last year, we reiterated our commitments and set bold targets to help provide food to those who need it most, volunteer our time and reduce the amount of food we send to waste. I’m delighted that, through this partnership with FareShare, a charity aligned to our purpose and ambitions in our Enriching Life Plan, we’re going to spend the next five years working together to do just that.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

  • For Premier Foods, this move marks the next step in the Group’s journey to accomplish the targets set out in its Enriching Life Plan, which last year laid out a strengthened ESG strategy to support healthier, more sustainable lifestyles.
  • The partnership will consist of seven separate workstreams each aimed at tackling food waste and food poverty in a different way. These are:
Food waste Identify and reduce food waste in Premier Foods’ operations, and encourage suppliers and consumers to do the same
Surplus food donations Ensure any food that is fit for consumption goes to someone who needs it
Volunteering Utilise Premier Foods colleagues’ time, skills and knowledge to support FareShare’s operations
Commercial activations Work in partnership with our retailer partners to maximise impact through marketing campaigns and engage consumers
Colleague engagement Engage colleagues across all Premier Foods sites on the issue of food waste and food poverty, organise fundraising events and set up food donation stations across our sites​
Broadening our impact Longer term, seek additional ways to maximise the impact of collaboration across food sector
Communication and reporting Track and communicate progress of partnership and measure our societal impact via annual report and B4SI (Business For Societal Impact) alignment

About Premier Foods
As one of Britain’s largest food producers, we’re passionate about food and believe each and every day we have the opportunity to enrich life for everyone. Premier Foods employs over 4,000 people operating from 15 sites across the country, supplying a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with our iconic brands which feature in millions of homes every day.

Through some of the nation’s best-loved brands, including Ambrosia, Batchelors, Bisto, Loyd Grossman, Mr. Kipling, OXO and Sharwood’s, we’re creating great-tasting products that contribute to healthy and balanced diets, while committing to nurturing our people and our local communities, and going further in the pursuit of a healthier planet, in line with our purpose of Enriching Life Through Food.

About FareShare
FareShare is the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste. We take good-to-eat surplus food from across the food industry, sort it in our regional warehouses across the UK, and pass it onto a network of nearly 9,500 charities and community groups. These include food banks and pantries, hostels, refuges, community centres, older people’s lunch clubs, school clubs and hospices. Three quarters of the organisations we provide food to support children and families. During the last financial year, 2021-2022, FareShare redistributed the equivalent of nearly 130 million meals – that’s four meals every second.