UK’s First Waste Supermarket Opens


The UK’s first food waste supermarket has opened in Leeds, selling surplus supermarket stock to local residents.

Food waste campaigners from the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP) – who have already revolutionized the way we view food waste through their food banks and “pay-as-you-feel-cafes” –  have opened “the warehouse” in a bid to reduce the 10 million tonnes of food waste the UK generates each year.

The supermarket receives deliveries of food from Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Ocado and works in the same way as the project’s cafes. Customers pay whatever they can afford for the food available or offer their time as volunteers helping with transporting, weighing, sorting and selling the food.

Adam Smith, Founder at RJFP said: “We ask that you pay what you feel in time, money and skills. We do have people coming with the intention of paying and if it carries on like it does it will pay for the cost of the warehouse”.

The project hopes to make food destined for the bin accessible to all at an affordable price, with the number of people in the UK using food banks rising to record levels in the past year: the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of 400 foodbanks across the country, gave out over 1.1 million 3-day emergency food supplies in 2015/16 compared to 25,000 in 2008/09.

Around 4.2% of UK food manufactured becomes food waste or surplus, and WRAP research suggests that redistribution efforts have the potential to increase four-fold, to the equivalent of 360 meals a year.

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