Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tackling Bristol's food waste: Gleaning Network UK, Bristol hub launch

Gleaning Network UK, featured in BBC Radio 4's Food ProgrammeThe Guardian, and Al Jazeera, and organised by Tristram Stuart and Feeding the 5,000, is an exciting new initiative to save the thousands of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted on UK farms every year. Farmers across the country often have no choice but to leave tonnes of their crops unharvested and get ploughed back in the soil. These crops often cannot reach the market either because they fail to meet the strict cosmetic standards of supermarkets or because of overproduction.

We coordinate teams of volunteers, local farmers and food redistribution charities in order to salvage this fresh, nutritious food and direct it to those that need it most, such as homeless hostels and charities. To date, we have salvaged several tonnes of excellent unmarketable British produce, including apples, cabbages, cauliflowers, spring greens and kale, and redistributed them to charities such as 
FareShare. Here's some more info, our video, and pictures of our last gleaning day (our debut in Sussex, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage along for the day!). The movement is gathering pace, and we're rapidly expanding into a national network. Join the Arable Spring!

We're launching our Bristol hub at the moment, and we need your help! We'll have gleaning events coming up over the next few months, and we need volunteers to come help harvest that tasty wonky fruit and veg, as well as local drivers. If you'd be interested in volunteering over the next few months, just sign up to our gleaning list to be the first to know when we have our debut Bristol gleaning day set, or if you have any questions contact

See you in the fields!

Many thanks,

Maddy Longhurst

Haven’t signed the Feeding the 5000 pledge yet? Go to and make your voice heard!

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