UK farms are throwing away 7% of their annual harvest worth £1.2 billion every year because it does not meet retailers quality standards.

Food that is being rejected by supermarkets is set to be redistributed to charities and small businesses in an effort by farmers and producers to reduce food wastage and help solve UK hunger and climate change.

The Food Surplus Network comes in light of a new study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which found that farms in the UK are throwing away seven percent of their annual harvest worth £1.2 billion every year because it does not meet retailers quality standards. 

The network will connect farmers with new markets that can use surplus food; including a directory of organisations redistributing surplus food to charities, businesses which use surplus food to make new products and business-to-business trading platforms.

The need for repurposed food is greater than ever as food banks believe that this summer will see the highest demand yet, as the Trussell Trust recorded a 20 percent increase in emergency food parcels for children in the UK during summer 2018.

Fluctuations in demand and issues during storage or packing also contributed to creating 3.6 million tonnes of waste, which is more than 10 times the amount thrown away by retailers. 

Over half of the waste created in primary production was repurposed to feed livestock or distributed to charities. The rest of the waste was ploughed back into fields, composted or used to create energy. 

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