The Farms, B-Corps, and Sustainability Champions helping to Rescue People & Planet.
Food loss and waste are colossal contributors to climate change, as one-third of all food produced globally is wasted. Food loss and waste are also a significant squandering of resources – water, land, energy, and labour – and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
City Harvest rescues food, people, and the planet by empowering food businesses to donate quality surplus, collecting it for free, and delivering it to London communities in need. In the process, our operation prevents harmful GHG emissions from food loss and waste throughout the food supply chain, diverting quality food from landfill and other non-human consumption to around 2.5 million Londoners facing food poverty.
Since our establishment in 2014, we have so far prevented over 50 tonnes of GHG emissions, but our mission if far from over.
This year’s Earth Day theme, #InvestinOurPlanet highlights the need for individuals, companies, and organisations to adopt a sustainable mindset that goes beyond one day of observation and encourages a lifetime investment to nurture- bearing only positive outcomes for the environment.
Here are some of the partners City Harvest works with who are Investing in Our Planet.
City Harvest’s Sustainable Partners
City Harvest’s Leaf-accredited ‘Harvest for Hunger’ campaign, running throughout UK Harvest season, has empowered more farms to ‘do the right thing’ and divert quality surplus produce to City Harvest to help alleviate UK food poverty.
By unlocking this surplus food earlier on in the supply chain, City Harvest ensures more people in London will have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, helps farm partners to reduce food waste, and ensures that the efforts of UK farmers and growers aren’t wasted, as well as the energy and water used to grow and harvest fresh produce.
3.6 million tonnes of food is currently wasted at farm level (WRAP), mostly due to uncontrollable factors like weather, public buying patterns, and, more recently, international conflict and the pandemic. In connecting with food redistribution charities like City Harvest, farms can avoid re-ploughing produce back into the soil, and the use of non-human consumption channels when dealing with surplus where possible, further reducing negative environmental impacts.
James Foskett Farms, recipient of a Harvest for Hunger Sustainability Award 2021
“I would rather all crops came out of the ground, and nothing was left, so we can give them to organisations like City Harvest. It’s great to know that we can help to tackle food poverty in some way”
James Foskett Farms, City Harvest Farm partner
The environmental impact of food waste is not the only motivator for positive change in the UK Farming and Food industries. The current Cost-of-Living Crisis has put immense pressure on UK households, especially those already struggling to put food on the table, further encouraging businesses to act for the greater social benefit.
’As the country’s bills continue to increase and peoples’ income becomes even more stretched, we at Strawson’s want to help where we can, to offer people produce which would otherwise need to be disposed of. Through our partnership with City Harvest, we can give our produce another life”
Strawson’s, City Harvest Farm partner
Farm fresh: photo from Strawson’s carrot harvest, 2022.
What is a B Corp?
A B-Corp is defined as a sustainable business that balances purpose and profit. To become a B Corp, companies are scored on five categories: Governance, Workers, Customers, Community & Environment. By maintaining strict standards, B-Corp remains a symbol that the public can trust as a mark of a business committed to making change for good.
B-Corps are paving the way for sustainable business models, within and outside of the food industry. Many of City Harvest’s partners are certified B-Corps, including those who offer pro-bono support, like creative agency, RPM, and management consultancy, Good Business, and a handful of our people and planet-conscious food donors such as Belazu, graze, innocent, Charlie Bighams, Cotswold Fayre, allplants and PROPER.
“At Graze, we’ve always lived the B Corp values of putting people andplanet first. B Corp encourages businesses to think about their social impactand community as well as the environment. Working with City Harvest helps us ensure that the snacks that don’t make it onto the supermarket shelves end up in the hands of the people that need them most rather than the bin – which benefits the community and reduces food waste.”
Graze snacks, City Harvest food donor
Some of the graze team volunteering in our Acton depot, sorting their own surplus produce!
For many of our donors, partnering with City Harvest as a sustainable solution to surplus has inched them closer to B-Corp certification, especially regarding the Community and Environment categories. In partnering with City Harvest, food businesses can sustainably divert any surplus to disadvantaged communities in London, avoiding waste and making a difference.
“As a food business, we want to do everything we can to prevent food from being wasted. 9% of people in the UK were living in food poverty in January 2021, according to the Food Foundation. Belazu is proud to be working with charities like City Harvest, to do our part to reduce that.”
Belazu Ingredients Company, long-term City Harvest food donor
Become a Sustainability Champion
Champion our Mission
Volunteer with Us
Our Corporate Volunteering Programme also allows for businesses, motivated to do good, to be part of our food rescue operation, and to see, first-hand, the scale of food waste and ever-increasing demand for free food in London.
The team at Following the Footprints are a great example of some of our sustainable supporters who have recently volunteered with us.
Following The Footprints is a publication exploring how FMCG businesses are innovating to become more sustainable. Founded on the belief that climate solutions should be open source, the team tracks the sustainability journeys of environmentally conscious SMEs, sharing them in a weekly newsletter and other media. Such businesses include Jude’s Ice Cream and Dash Water, as well as City Harvest donors Cotswold Fayre and allplants. Long-term, the publication aims to be a resource hub for businesses to use, equipping them with tools and contacts to reduce their environmental footprint.
The Following the Footprints Team (including , Ben, City Harvest Sustainable Food Sourcing Coordinator, left) volunteering in our Acton depot.
We work with a host of inspiring businesses who are striving to do better by people and planet, from the historic London Liveries, helping London in times of crisis, to game-changers, like Young Foodies, who foster a community of challenger FMCG brands, providing knowledge, experience and growth services to enable them to thrive, while being kind to our planet.
Young Foodies sister e-commerce venture and City Harvest food donor, Mighty Small, champions B-Corps & sustainable and independent food and drink brands.
Part of the Fabric of London: (left to right) City Harvest Livery Kitchen Initative partner, the Drapers’ Company, headed by Clerk Richard Wistanley, and millenial gamechangers, Young Foodies,(pictured, Emma & Emma) based at New Covent Garden Market.