The second phase of the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD)’s programme urges the food industry to support the charities and community groups that supply food to people in need via new online resources.

The first step in IDG’s programme of work aimed to encourage manufacturers to take urgent action on the amount of surplus food being redistributed. To mobilise the industry on the issue, a guide was launched in May. The second phase has introduced an online redistribution resources hub for businesses.

According to research by IGD, one in six people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland experience food insecurity. The company also reports that a total of 74,000 tonnes of food surplus was redistributed from across retail and manufacturing in 2020. It is stated that there are also an estimated 165,000 tonnes of food surplus available for redistribution annually within these sectors.

IGD aims to change these statistics by driving positive change within the food redistribution industry.

Sarah Barratt, IGD CEO, said: “Even the most efficient food businesses generate unsold surplus food. The first priority for any business is to reduce the amount of surplus it generates. For any remaining surplus, there’s an opportunity to redistribute, which covers a range of channels including commercial outlets, charities and community groups. By increasing the amount of food we redistribute, our industry has an enormous opportunity to drive positive change and be a force for good.

“There’s also a compelling business case. We know that reducing food loss and waste is a key opportunity for businesses to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, driving efficient supply chains and reducing waste should be a priority for businesses; it makes financial sense, helps communities, and reduces the impact on the planet.”

To encourage the industry to take collective action, IGD joined forces with Ben Elliot, Food Surplus and Waste Champion for Defra, and WRAP, to develop the online redistribution resources hub, which includes practical tools to help accelerate redistribution.

“With our unique ability to bring together stakeholders from across the whole food and consumer goods system, IGD has worked with our industry and collated feedback to create this new set of online redistribution tools and resources,” Sarah Barratt added. “We hope it is both inspiring and useful in helping your business take action. We need your feedback so we can continue to progress our vital redistribution work and help others to do the same, so please get in touch with us as we continue our redistribution journey.”

Anyone who wishes to share their feedback with IGD can email