A project set to shine a light on sustainability and slash food waste in the north of Northamptonshire has been launched – with food and drink businesses from across the area pledging their support and commitment to protecting the environment.
The ‘Full Circle’ project, made possible thanks to funding from the UK Community Renewal Fund is providing farmers, producers, suppliers and food retailers with a trio of online platforms to help them chart their journey to sustainability and to provide a matchmaking service that will link hospitality businesses with producers and suppliers who have food produce that would otherwise go to waste.
Rachel Mallows MBE, a director of Made in Northamptonshire who also heads up the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, said: “The statistics are shocking. Over a third of all food produced globally goes to waste, and in the UK, we throw away around 9.5 million tonnes every year.
When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.
“As well as the interactive platforms our Full Circle project will include a detailed mapping exercise, so that we can create an interactive digital map and understand for the first time what and where all our food businesses, food banks and food larders are.”
Jay Davenport, who is managing the project for Made In Northamptonshire, said: “Our aim is to have over 100 businesses from the north of the county signed up to our Full Circle project. We’ve already an excellent response, so if you are in the food and drink sector make sure you don’t miss out.”
An early member and supporter of the project is Ganders Goat, a goat farm based near Rockingham Castle and Corby which produces soap and ice cream.
Co-founder of Ganders Goat, the first farm in the UK to use biodegradable and compostable packaging, Ian Horton, said: “We put sustainability and biodiversity at the forefront of everything we do which is why we are delighted to be involved with and supporting Full Circle. We see the whole process through from beginning to end, from milking our dairy goats to picking the fruits.”
Rachel added: “We want all of you to make conscious decisions about where you buy your food and drink and our apps and interactive map will help you do this. Please spread the word.”
Full Circle includes three apps, which businesses signing up to the project will have access to free of charge for 12 months. These are:
• Zellar – a sustainability audit app that that will enable food and drink organisations to create an online profile and document their sustainability journey.
• Food Loop – which matches businesses who may be seeking to receive or use food supplies with other businesses that have unwanted produce.
• Too Good to Go – which matches vulnerable people and food banks with local producers.
Full Circle is being managed by Northamptonshire ACRE and Made in Northamptonshire.
If you are involved in the food chain please get in touch and get involved. To do this simply email Jay Davenport: firstname.lastname@example.org