Michael Gove has appointed a new food waste champion as part of government plans to eliminate food waste to landfill by 2030.
Ben Elliot is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded the lifestyle group Quintessentially. The charitable arm of the business has recently partnered with The Felix Project, the charity combatting the issue of food waste and food poverty in London, to pioneer a government-backed initiative to divert up to £1bn of surplus food to those in need.
Elliot will work with businesses across the retail, food manufacturing, hospitality and foodservice sectors on strategies to tackle food waste from farm to fork.
Defra said the appointment was a key commitment in its recently-published Resources and Waste Strategy, which also sets out plans to consult on introducing annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses, and to consult on seeking powers for setting mandatory targets for food waste prevention should progress be insufficient.
“As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to landfill,” said Elliot. “My new appointment will allow me to work with DEFRA and food retailers all over the country to help build out a nationwide strategy that will ensure surplus food is not wasted at the expense of those in our society that truly need it.”
Elliot’s first task in his new role will be to ensure that a new £15m food waste fund announced by the government in October redistributes surplus food that would otherwise be wasted to those most in need.