Michael Gove appoints first food waste champion

Ben Elliot has been appointed the Government’s first food surplus and waste champion to help promote awareness of food waste.

The appointment by environment secretary Michael Gove will see Elliot, co-founder of lifestyle group Quintessentially, set directions to help drive down unnecessary food waste in the UK.

He will work with businesses and stakeholders from retail, food manufacture, hospitality and foodservice, motivating businesses to tackle food waste from farm to fork.

The government said the role was a commitment to its resources and waste strategy, launched in December, and would support the strategy and 25-year environment plan to work towards eliminating food waste to landfill by 2030.

“Food waste is an economic, environmental and moral scandal. We must end it,” said Gove.

“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.”

Elliot said his appointment would allow him to work to build a nationwide strategy to ensure surplus food was not wasted at the expense of those who needed it.

He added: “While 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.

“As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure 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.”

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