The Government has appointed philanthropist Ben Elliot as its new food surplus and waste champion to help cut the amount of food being sent to landfill.
Mr Elliot is the co-founder of lifestyle group Quintessentially and chair of the Quintessentially Foundation, which helps businesses cut food waste from all sources.
In the new unpaid role, he will work with businesses and other stakeholders from across retail, food manufacture, hospitality and food services, motivating businesses to tackle the issue.
He will also advice Defra on proposals for the distribution of the £15 million Food Waste Fund, which will help retailers and food manufacturers reduce waste.
According to the Government, 10.2 million tonnes of food waste are produced in the UK every year.
The appointment is part of the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, which was launched last month, and will support the commitment set out in the Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan to work towards eliminating food waste to landfill by 2030.
‘Whilst families all over the country struggle to put food on the table and children still go to school each day with empty stomachs, there continues to be an unforgivable amount of food waste which is both morally deplorable and largely avoidable,’ said Mr Eliot.
‘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,’ he added.
‘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.’
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, added: ‘Food waste is an economic, environmental and moral scandal. We must end it.
‘That’s why I am delighted Ben Elliot is taking up this position and know he will bring the enthusiasm and skills this important role needs. His first task will be to help ensure our £15m food waste fund redistributes surplus food that would otherwise be wasted to those most in need.’