Business models & guide for coaches
The FLAVOUR Project, a cross-border programme involving the UK, France and Flanders (Belgium), has been looking into the issue of food surplus over the past four years and has now reported on its findings. The FLAVOUR Project aim was to increase the effectiveness of enterprises dealing with food surplus, whilst creating pathways to employment for those most in need. This novel approach addressed the challenges of dealing with large amounts of food surplus still fit for human consumption while simultaneously offering skills and employment opportunities for those facing food poverty.
Plymouth Marjon University and its partners in the FLAVOUR project have created new resources to support social enterprises, businesses and charities who are working to tackle food waste that want to learn for this strategic programme.
The first is a business model guide and an associated online tool for those looking to start working in the surplus food sector. The business model guide takes people through each aspect of business planning, whether working in food distribution or food processing, using the Triple Bottom Line Model – this means people consider the environmental and social value of their business, as well as the economic opportunities.
There are two versions, one for the UK context, and one for Belgium and France. In support of these resources, the on-line tool asks a series of questions to help people think through the details of their food processing business – once complete, the tool generates a bespoke report that is emailed to you.
Furthermore, an online training guide for managers and coaches working in food redistribution organisations has been created. This provides food businesses with a wealth of materials which they can use to help coach and train staff, volunteers and people in social employment. Here you can find clear step-by-step guidance, videos on food hygiene and safety, and graphics showing the dietary needs of different groups in the population, as well as cards you can use with staff to talk about wellbeing.
Why is this important?
Today, 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat (that’s the population of London) and 4.7 million of these people live in severely food insecure homes: this means that their food intake is greatly reduced and children regularly experience physical sensations of hunger – and this is likely to increase due to the cost of living crisis we’re experiencing.
Alongside this about one third of the 10 billion tonnes of food produced each year is wasted. In the UK, according to FareShare and WRAP, 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year – enough for 1.3 billion meals. Food becomes surplus due, amongst other reasons, to over-production, labelling errors, a short shelf-life, seasonal variations and domestic wastage by the consumer.
Across the UK, an increasing number of community groups, charities, social enterprises, voluntary bodies, local authorities and businesses are working to either redistribute food waste to families who need it or using the food waste to create tasty new products, like soup, which can then be sold. These initiatives reduce the amount of food going to waste and directly support those in food poverty.