Skip to main content
Search Results

UK’s first online marketplace for surplus fresh food is launched

20th Jun 2024 - 07:00
UK’s first online marketplace for surplus fresh food is launched
Ample, which claims to be the first marketplace for surplus fresh food, has been launched with the aim of putting catering and retail buyers directly in touch with farmers and growers.

While the platform, which co-founder and chief executive Steve Thomas likens to Amazon, was being trialled it had already picked up customers such as the London Borough of Newham’s school meals provider Juniper Ventures, which has started buying up cucumbers from Lea Valley growers that had previously been rejected by big supermarkets as ‘too wonky’.

Michael Hales, chief executive officer at Juniper Ventures and vice-chair-elect of LACA, said: “We are always looking for the best ways to support local suppliers, and it’s fantastic to be able to deliver farm-to-fork food for our students, getting British food onto our menus and a fair deal for all. Our partnership with Ample fits the bill perfectly.”

Steve added: “We are really excited to be launching Ample Marketplace because we believe it will make a big difference to the effectiveness of our broken food chain. We can’t bear to see good food go to waste, especially when we all know how important it is to act and mitigate climate change. But also - crucially - we are bringing high quality British food for business buyers at keen prices.

“At least 1.6m tonnes of edible food is wasted on UK farms every year. Yet growing food requires a huge amount of resources including energy, water, chemicals, labour and money, so wasting food wastes the resources that go into growing and harvesting it. This amounts to over 6% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and directly impacts an industry that is already feeling the brunt of climate change and economic hardship.”

The Ample Marketplace platform is open to anyone and allows farmers to seamlessly upload details of their produce so that it can be marketed to food industry buyers, who browse for what they want and agree a price directly with the seller.

The logistics that accompany this allow Ample to ensure food is delivered on time and in perfect condition – collected by buyers if preferred. You can check out the Ample site here.

Written by
David Foad