Events & News

UKHarvest is celebrating an innovative partnership with Chichester based Tangmere Airfield Nurseries: the UK's largest dedicated pepper nursery. 

In a new pilot project, UKHarvest, leading food rescue charity in Sussex, have teamed with Tangmere Airfield Nurseries with a unique donation scheme, the first of its kind for the charity supporting those experiencing food poverty and food insecurity in UK. By rescuing produce from potential waste and finding ways to redistribute it as a fresh crop, or cooking ingredient, UKHarvest are not simply combating food waste, but tackling the ongoing and increasing environmental impacts that food production can have both locally and globally. 

The UK produces 9.6bn tonnes of food waste per year, food that is deemed unsuitable for sale through the requirements of distribution chain, however 70% of the food sent to landfill or made into animal feed is still consumable. However, for fresh produce to remain high quality when it reaches the end user, there is a complicated and necessary process that takes place.  

UKHarvest have cultivated a relationship with one of UKs largest producers of peppers, where fruit that is not suitable for mainstream sale, is collected and sorted for use via UKHarvest’s food distribution channels. Collecting the produce directly from the grower cuts out an expensive and lengthy processing, packaging and distributing chain, reducing wastage through packaging and transportation, ensuring the fruit is being delivered directly to UKHarvest’s warehouse, where volunteers are working to sort and redistribute to the UKHarvest community within hours.  

UKHarvest’s CEO, Yvonne Thomson is thrilled with the project saying “A relationship of this scale with a local producer is a fantastic step into new orchestrations of food rescue and redistribution by UKHarvest. We are truly thankful to Tangmere Airfield Nurseries for allowing us the opportunity to pilot this project, and hope that we can secure more successful direct food rescue ventures in the future”. 

Since the start of this collaboration in June 2023, UKHarvest have collected a total of nearly 26,000kgs of peppers into the warehouse, with our team of volunteers kindly donating 350 hours so far to ensure that the best quality fruit is redirected to community food hubs, our community kitchen, other UK charities and organisations around the country. Tangmere Airfield Nurseries have worked hard to ensure that produce that is not suitable for mainstream sale does not go to waste, and where possible, reaches the homes of those that need it most.  

UKHarvest hopes that this is the start of many new collaborations between the charity and other local growers, who not only benefit enormously from donating the fruit at this stage of the food production process, but will be able to see, first hand, the difference these donations of fruit and vegetables can make to everyone experiencing difficulties in the current cost of living crisis.