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Southern England Farms donates 400 tonnes of surplus produce to FareShare

A Cornish farmer has been praised for donating nearly 400 tons of surplus vegetables to a food waste charity, providing enough food for nearly one million meals.

Southern England Farms (SEF), based in Hayle, began donating surplus vegetables to Fare Share’s ‘Surplus with a Purpose’ program in 2019. Currently, Jane Richards, one of the farm’s partners, along with a team of over 400 pickers, works with charities to ensure that surplus vegetables are not wasted.

Richards’ farm, which spans more than 6,500 acres, is an important source of vegetables for many major UK retailers.

Jane now sees her partnership with FARESHARE as a passion project and encourages other food producers to get involved.

No farmer wants their produce to go to waste

The Fare Share program is a great way to redistribute surplus produce to those who really need it. It’s very rewarding to know how much of our surplus produce is helping to feed people. FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity, having distributed 54,000 tons of food equivalent to 128 million meals between 2022-2023.

The charity’s ‘Surplus Fit for Purpose’ initiative supports businesses in the food sector, from producers to manufacturers and wholesalers.

More than 13 million people in the UK are currently experiencing food shortages

Ian Maddever, senior representative of NFU Mutual Cornwall, which supports the program, said many farmers want their surplus produce to benefit those in need.

‘We applaud Jane and the whole team at Southern England Farms for their fantastic efforts to support Fare Share’s work to alleviate food poverty in their community.’

At NFU Mutual we believe that no one should go hungry and we are committed to taking action where we can. A regular supply of fresh fruit and vegetables is vital for the charities and community groups we support. By providing surplus food to Fare Share, Southern England Farms has found a clever solution to food waste management that will bring huge benefits to the most vulnerable.

Paolo Sorbello

Paolo Sorbello is a journalist and researcher. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow, studying state-business relations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. He is also the Business News Editor of the weekly newspaper The Conway Bulletin.

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