Over 150 million meals rescued as part of Olio and FareShare's flagship food waste campaign

Grocery 4 min read

Last summer, Olio and FareShare joined forces with a group of UK food businesses to launch a flagship campaign against food waste. 

Together with our retail and hospitality partners like Tesco, One Stop, Pret A Manger, Compass, Booker, Restaurant Associates, Eurostar, Impact Food Group and more, we set out to rescue and redistribute 200 million meals worth of food, and share it with families across the UK over a 12 month period.

 Against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis, which has continued to intensify since our campaign’s launch, we also wanted to put out a call to action for UK businesses. We wanted to encourage more companies to commit to redistributing any spare food to the surrounding communities where they operate, rather than throwing it in the bin.

One year later, we’re very excited to be able to reveal the results of our campaign. Together with our campaign partners, Olio and FareShare rescued the equivalent of 153 million meals – just over  75% of our target. Despite falling just short of 200 million meals, we’re still delighted with the outcome.

“If a handful of businesses can club together to share that much food – imagine the phenomenal impact we could have if every food business in the UK did the same.”

When asked about the results of the campaign, Saasha Celestial-One, COO and co-founder of Olio, said:

“We always knew our 200 million target was ambitious. And we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But we’re still incredibly proud to have got over 75% of the way there.

 The meals we saved through our joint campaign could feed every single person in the UK – twice. So we’re really delighted with that and feel that the campaign has been a resounding success.

If a handful of businesses can club together to share that much food – imagine the phenomenal impact we could have if every food business in the UK did the same.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to the team at FareShare, our campaign partners, and all our wonderful Olio volunteers who made this possible.”

Polly Hoffman, Head of Retail  at FareShare, said;

“At FareShare, it’s our deep-rooted belief that there is no excuse for perfectly good food going to waste. So we’re incredibly pleased that our campaign with Olio has delivered such a big impact – providing the equivalent of over 150 million meals to families and people facing food insecurity up and down the UK.

“Sadly, at FareShare, we know all too well that many of those people are struggling to put food on the table”

So, we’re very grateful to all our partners and volunteers for continuing to help us redistribute nutritious, edible food to people that need it.”

 Claire de Silva, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

“We are incredibly proud of our partnerships with Olio and FareShare helping us to redistribute food to those who need it most. We remain committed to reducing food waste across our business and supporting communities throughout the UK.”

For every kilogram of food that a business redistributes through Olio or FareShare, they can provide over 2 healthy meals worth of food for families in their local community (source). 

Although our campaign is over, we’ve got no plans to stop our crucial work helping businesses eliminate food waste and alleviating food poverty. While the government’s recent decision to scrap plans for mandatory food waste reporting are disappointing, that’s only made us even more determined to make sure that as many businesses as possible are doing the right thing – sharing spare food, rather than throwing it away.

Want to help us on our mission to do just that? Here are a couple of ways you can get involved:

Sign Feedback’s petition to make food waste reporting mandatory for all big food businesses.

If food gets wasted where you work – whether that’s at school, in your office, or at the business you work for – get in touch with Olio today.