Supporting Gleaning Network UK
Reducing Waste and Supporting Local Communities
On Tuesday 25 June 2013 Huntapac Produce Ltd teamed up with the Gleaning Network UK, a national initiative which aims at saving fresh fruit and vegetables which would normally become
waste on farms throughout the UK.
‘Gleaning’ is an ancient practice dating back to medieval times and is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
A team of approximately 20 volunteers from the Gleaning Network UK were invited to glean a small area of iceberg lettuces which had grown too large for retail sale. When the team arrived on what was a clear and sunny day they were given a site induction and a health and safety briefing and then the team was split into two groups. One group was provided with harvesting knives and then given a demonstration on how to harvest the iceberg lettuces whilst the other group set about co-ordinating the packing and loading of the freshly harvested produce.
Led by Martin Bowman, Gleaning Co-ordinator the team spent four hours out in the field and harvested approximately one and half tonnes of iceberg. The gleaned iceberg was then sent to FareShare North West (NW) in Manchester, a division of the charity which aims to relieve food poverty. From there it was then distributed to a variety of charities and community food embers throughout the North West which provide vitally needed meals and food parcels to hundreds of disadvantaged people every day.
Sebastien Serayet of FareShare NW: “Picking fresh vegetables directly from the field to then redistribute to charity makes total sense. It saves food from being wasted and improves the diet of those most in need. I would like to thank Huntapac Produce Ltd for their donations, our beneficiary organisations are really pleased with the lettuces, which have been distributed with cucumber and tomatoes that would otherwise have been wasted from another source, to form tasty salads.”
Stephen Shields, Technical Director at Huntapac Produce Ltd commented, “The gleaning day was a first for Huntapac and was a huge success. We have made a commitment to reduce waste within our business activities and feel that this relationship will help towards that whilst supporting local charities. We intend to work closely with Gleaning Network UK in the future.”