Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system

With nearly half of all food thrown away, reducing food waste has huge potential social, economic and environmental benefits. But it's not just about waste. How food is produced, processed, packaged and transported are also vital in managing its ecological footprint. Below and in the drop down menu on the right you will find inspiring city initiatives and helpful resources on this key issue.


What you can do

1. Run city-wide campaigns

… to raise public awareness of food waste and how to reduce it such as Love Food Hate Waste, Feeding the 5000, The Pig Idea and Disco Soup.

2. Help producers to reduce their ecological impact

… by providing training, advice and support on adopting organic, permaculture and other sustainable production techniques.

3. Incorporate the Food Waste Hierarchy

… into policies, strategies and services in order to reduce food waste and ensure surplus food and food waste are diverted to the most appropriate purposes.

4. Establish a food waste collection scheme

… for homes and businesses and redirect this waste for composting, energy recovery (Anaerobic Digestion) or animal feed.

5. Provide training on waste and resource efficiency

… for producers, processors, retailers, caterers and the wider business community, including reducing food packaging and waste and improving energy and water use.

6. Promote home and community food composting

… through awareness and education campaigns and through the provision of composting tools, demonstrations, materials and sites for communities to use.

7. Collect harvest surplus and unwanted produce

… from local farms and food growing sites through a crop-gleaning/abundance and volunteering scheme to divert harvested produce unwanted by retailers.

8. Collect and redistribute consumable surplus food

… to organisations feeding people in need, while working to raise the nutritional standards of the food being offered.


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

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