Helping businesses save money, reduce environmental impact and gain more customers!

FoodWise was a FREE programme that worked with small and medium sized businesses in the food and drink production and hospitality sectors across the South East. We helped 55 businesses reduce waste in all of their businesses processes from buying, production, distribution and disposal.


If you’d like more information on the whole FoodWise project, run by Oxfordshire County Council, please click here:

A bit more about the project

One of the businesses that benefitted from the FoodWISE was The Real Junk Food Project in Brighton, part of the Real Junk Food Project network, created by Adam Smith.  The Project intercepts food waste destined for land fill and uses it to produce meals in cafés.  Customers pay on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis so it is accessible to all.

FoodWISE RJunkFoodCafe Brighton picFoodWISE helped the Real Junk Food Project identify the carbon benefit of food waste collections to support the marketing of the project and help it to grow.

FoodWISE undertook a mass balance carbon footprinting exercise using data provided by the Real Junk Food Project. The exercise calculated the avoided landfill and production benefit associated with the packaging and product saved.

Since the project started, the Real Junk Food Project has saved an average of 31 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per month by diverting edible food from landfill.

Each meal served effectively saves 400gCO2e by displacing landfill and new food purchases. The economic benefits remain in the community with profits allowing for free (healthy) meals to be provided to vulnerable and homeless people.

The output of this carbon calculation has been for the Real Junk Food Project to engage with suppliers of waste food and café customers. Because it is a “pay as you feel” system it is vital that those who can afford it pay a reasonable fee. Communicating the benefit of the programme has helped achieve this objective and it will now form part of the strategic plan as the Project makes plans to expand their operations.

The objective of the FoodWISE project was to provide The Real Junk Food Project with the tools to attract more people to the café and to increase the “pay as you feel” revenue.

Real Junk Food Brighton’s Director, Imogen Richmond-Bishop said,

“ We are delighted with the results of FoodWISE’s carbon calculations.  We knew we were making a big impact by diverting food from landfill, but we didn’t know how big. These results give us the perfect set of marketing messages with which to encourage participation by our customers and investors.  With concrete figures, we can go forward with confidence with our plans to divert more waste from landfill and feed more people!”


FoodWise was managed by Oxfordshire County Council and was part-funded by the South East Competitiveness European Regional Development Fund.