Every year the UK throws away 15 million tonnes of food and drink, half of which was perfectly edible when thrown away. Over a million people now rely on food handouts and Food Banks. 2 members of Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG) were visiting local shops looking for food waste to feed pigs, and realised how much perfectly good food was being thrown away, and that that presented a huge opportunity.
Their beautiful video, above, made especially by Nick Swannell of 49media for our ’21 Stories of Transition’series, tells the story of what happened next, and of what they created.
Transition Bro Gwaun is based in Fishguard and has been operating since 2008. ’21 Stories of Transition’ tells the tale of two of their projects. The first is the Transition Community Café, Fishguard reduces food waste and saves carbon by stopping food going to landfill. The second is not yet published here, so you’ll have to wait to hear more about that one! At the Cafe, volunteers and staff collect perfectly good food that local businesses and people would otherwise throw away and turn it into affordable, healthy meals for sale to all in their community. Chris Samra, one of the founder members of Transition Bro Gwaun, states:
“Our surplus food project is more than just a way of reducing food waste. It’s an experiment – an attempt to put carbon reduction, sustainability and community resilience at the heart of a social enterprise and to make it a viable business suitable for a low growth, sustainable society”.
“This project is more than just a way of reducing food waste. It’s an experiment – an attempt to put carbon reduction, sustainability and community resilience at the heart of a social enterprise and to make it a viable business suitable for a low growth, sustainable society. It depends as much on non-monetized ‘income’ e.g. from gifting, community exchange, reusing and recycling, and volunteering as it does on financial
Transition Bro Gwaun
The café provides work experience opportunities for local people, with a particular focus on youth, the disabled and long term unemployed people. Not only does it act as a centre for community cohesion and a meeting place for many local people and groups – it also:
- prevents an average of 600 kilos of food going to landfill each month
- makes carbon savings of 21 tonnes per year.
"If world leaders came to the cafe for a visit, we’d show them all the entries in our Visitors’ Book which tell how excited people get about what we’re doing – how a simple, small, community project can be so effective in changing attitudes, modelling a new approach and enthusing people to do something similar – and that people think there should be lots more initiatives like ours".
Chris Samra, Transition Bro Gwaun