A more resilient food future? The challenges and opportunities of charitable food supply chains

Dr Jordon Lazell  and Dr Debashree De (University of Essex), Maz Aspillaga and Ben Mann (Essex County Council); Alison Losdiska and John Hailes (Laindon Community Supermarket)

Community organisations play a critical role in alleviating food poverty and food insecurity in the UK. This session focuses on the work of charitable food supply chains and the redistribution of food surpluses that provides a lifeline of accessible food supply. It will explore this sector’s need for greater resilience with regards to key learnings from the pandemic and the ongoing impact of the cost of living crisis.

There has been a considerable lack of academic engagement in understanding activities of capturing, storing, sorting, processing and redistributing such surplus food (i.e. food products from the retail and manufacturing sector that are no longer required but are still perfectly edible).

In this session we present the findings of a recent study looking into the concept of resilience by stakeholders across this supply chain, as well as allowing time to discuss questions such as how to progress towards greater resilience, what structural and societal changes need to take place, and wider concerns such as how to access appropriate knowledge and skills, and how organisations can learn from each other.

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