Food Waste Action Week 2022

A third of the food produced globally is either lost or wasted and it’s having a massive impact on climate change. Find out more about how we are participating in #FoodWasteActionWeek.

Running from 7-13th March, the aim of Food Waste Action Week is to create lasting change that helps to deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of halving global food waste by 2030. FareShare North East’s key objectives align with these goals.

Why is Food Waste an Environmental Problem?

Currently, at least one-third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. When food is wasted, all the energy and resources used to create that food are wasted to. This is a huge problem for people and the planet.

If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the USA. To make matters worse, if that food ends up in landfill it produces methane – a greenhouse gas up to 86 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

In the UK, food waste accounts for 6-7% of total greenhouse emissions, with an estimated 2m tonnes of perfectly edible food needlessly wasted on UK farms and in factories every year, instead of being sent to charities and community.

The Hidden Carbon and Water Cost of Food Waste

Food is such a resource intensive product to produce. Lots of energy and water is used to create it, but wasted at the same time. Astonishing findings from the Carbon Trust found that for every 1 tonne of food redistributed to charities prevents 1.6 tonnes of embedded CO2e from being emitted into the atmosphere. 1,525,000 litres of water needed to produce that food can also be needlessly avoided.

In 2021, FareShare North East redistributed 1,718 tonnes of surplus food, avoiding the waste of 2.5 billion litres of water…that’s enough water to fill over 1,000 Olympic swimming pools. 

FareShareNorth East’s Impact

Our food system will need to make major changes if we are going to feed everyone sustainably. Reducing food waste is a crucial part of the solution. By getting the best use out of food that’s already been produced, we can help create a food system that works for people and the planet.

In the UK, 1 in 8 people go hungry, while about 1.3 billion meals worth of good-to-eat food is wasted every year instead of going to charities. The UN estimates that just one quarter of all food that is wasted could feed the world’s 870 million undernourished people.

FareShare North East believes that the best destination for edible food will always be people’s plates. By redistributing surplus food we can avoid needless waste and needless hunger. We can keep edible food out of landfills and help reduce the pressure to grow more food while supporting people struggling with food poverty. It’s a win-win for people and the environment!


Find out more about Food Waste Action Week 2022 here