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Merchant Gourmet, a ready-to-eat grains and pulses pouches company, works in partnership with City Harvest in a holistic way. The relationship began with the donation of surplus stock at risk of waste to City Harvest, in particular, the product created in NPD (New Product Development) trials.

Saving food from being wasted at all costs

The product team has worked closely with its manufacturers to develop processes ensuring that NPD stock can be labelled correctly and donated to City Harvest, giving it another life rather than letting it go to waste. City Harvest spoke with Michaela Neame, Merchant Gourmet’s Product Development Lead on how the brand has optimised its NPD process to divert trial stock at risk of waste to City Harvest.

For the UK food industry, food waste not only has severe environmental impacts but economic ones, too, outlined in our October 2023 Value of Food Redistribution Report.

In 2023, Merchant Gourmet donated 2 tonnes of surplus to City Harvest, which equals 4,686 meals delivered to City Harvest’s community partners.

Plants, People, Planet

The brand’s focus is on plants, people, and the planet, with a mission to get people to eat more plants and whole foods in a convenient way with its current mantra of ‘cook smarter, not harder’.

Its ambient and long-life pouches of healthy, ready-to-eat grains, lentils and plant-based jars are ideal products for City Harvest to distribute to its 375+-strong network of community partners feeding people facing food insecurity across London.

When half a million tonnes of edible food are wasted in the capital, and 1 in 4 face hunger daily – it’s a no-brainer to divert edible, quality food to London’s original food redistribution charity.

Impact Report: Merchant Gourmet donates surplus food to city harvest food rescue charity -

The partnership: how it’s going

The partnership has now evolved to become a key pillar of Merchant Gourmet’s sustainability strategy. As well as donating surplus stock, the team love to volunteer at City Harvest’s food rescue HQ and organise fundraising events to help the charity in its mission to rescue food, people, and the planet.

Your Sustainable Solution to Surplus

City Harvest rescues food, for free, from all parts of the UK food industry, and delivers it to 375+ community partners across London. Take action against food waste and food poverty today by sustainably diverting your surplus.