The Food Loop App is an initiative of the No Food Wasted forum.
The No Food Wasted forum brings together Kent businesses, charities, community initiatives and individuals working to reduce food waste and create greater access to good food for all in Kent. The forum consists of members of Produced in Kent (businesses and charity members), as well as representatives from local councils, charities and community initiatives
At the first forum meeting in 2020 it became clear from the stories of those present that there is a discrepancy between the amount of surplus food produced in Kent and the growing number of vulnerable people unable to put a healthy meal on the table in our county. The idea was born to come up with a solution that better connects suppliers of surplus food with takers of surplus food - with the aim to deal with surplus food responsibly, timely and cost-effectively, have more food end up on a plate and less in the anaerobic digester or landfill.
HOW DOES THE APP WORK?
- Suppliers and takers of surplus food create an account on the app, specifying their offer or need.
- Surplus food can be donated or offered for sale – price negotiations and transactions to take place offline.
- Suppliers and takers are alerted to a ‘match’ through a notification on their mobile
- Food not collected or sold (‘matched’) is collected by the recycling company contracted by the supplier of surplus food.
WHY IS THIS A GOOD INITIATIVE?
- suppliers get rid of their surplus in a responsible, timely and cost-efficient way.
- community initiatives gain access to more suppliers and more fresh produce.
- vulnerable groups have access to better, healthier food.
- waste recycling plants receive the end -of-the-chain surplus.
- the redistribution of surplus food is fairer, more efficient and quicker.
The app helps towards a green recovery of our local economy:
- supporting shorter supply chains and reducing our communal carbon footprint.
- less food waste ends up in landfill.
The app can quantify efforts of individual businesses through data collected. Data can be used by businesses to show impact/CSR commitment. Dealing with food waste responsibly gives businesses a clear USP over businesses who don’t.
Data collected at the back end of the app give insight into volume of food waste being upcycled, redistributed and recycled in Kent – these statistics may help to influence policy development in the area of food waste management and change the behaviour of businesses and consumers.
The initiative feeds into the country’s Green Recovery Strategy.