Poultry firms have been asked to increase the amount of free meat they supply to help the most vulnerable in society.
At present, British Poultry Council (BPC) members supply around 3 tonnes of meat a week to the charity FareShare, which distributes the products to more than 6,000 frontline charities and community groups through 21 distribution centres across the UK
FareShare has now challenged BPC members to increase this to 10 tonnes of poultry a week by the end of the year.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: “Farehare is really proud of its partnership with the British Poultry Council. Poultry meat is in extremely high demand among the frontline charities and community groups that we serve – that’s why we’re encouraging BPC members to help increase our weekly supply.
“This will in turn help FareShare to feed thousands more people every day, providing hot nutritious meals to adults and children across the UK who struggle to afford good food, especially meat.
“We look forward to the year ahead, working with the BPC and their members to help ensure everyone in the UK has access to food and the services they need to lift themselves out of poverty.”
Faccenda and Cargill and the Joint Venture company Avara Foods alongside Moy Park have been the leading companies supporting FareShare. Faccenda started working with FareShare in October 2015, which has seen at least one tonne of chicken every week supplied from their Telford site to FareShare West Midlands. This in turn provides over 2,000 meals a week for vulnerable people living in the region.
Andy Dawkins, Avara Foods chief executive, said: “Working with FareShare has really made us think about the value of food we produce and the power it has to improve the lives of people in need.”
Mr Boswell was speaking at a House of Commons roundtable event in Parliament on Wednesday, which was attended by MPs, poultry meat processors and farmers. The event examined how the poultry sector could work with government to build an integrated British food security policy that could help feed everyone, including the most vulnerable.
Richard Griffiths, BPC chief executive, said: “With the economic and social pressures being created by Brexit, access to food will become one of the nation’s biggest challenges in the coming years.
“If the mission of Britain is to lead, then we must take pride in producing good quality food and feeding our people, including those most in need.”
Among others speaking at the event were Neil Parish, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee; John Reed, BPC chairman and Jenny Chapman, shadow minister for exiting the EU.