Farmers are being invited to sell their surplus stocks through a new website in a bid to cut down on the amount of food waste.
Founder and CEO of Takestock.com, Campbell Murray, said farmers were already using the website to trade direct with buyers and therefore ‘cut out the middle man’.
“Until now, it has been very difficult to reach a buying audience for surplus stocks,” said Mr Murray, highlighting the 600,000 tonnes of food waste sent to landfill each year from the food manufacturing industry alone.
“This year most of the farming sectors in the UK have enjoyed a strong harvest with an average yield uplift of around 12 per cent. That means a lot of surplus produce that will end up in animal feed, anaerobic digestion (AD) or landfill. Takestock helps farmers reach the marketplace direct – especially to caterers, niche food manufacturers and the hospitality trade.”
Mr Murray said buyers were interested in small quantities, for example 50kg bags of potatoes. The largest quantity sold was 20 tonnes.
“Getting the volume right is key,” added Mr Murray.
"It’s basically an online farm shop.
“We email all the 25,000 companies which have signed up once a week. If we know there are potatoes or root vegetables coming up we will target crisp manufacturers or if there’s fruit we speak to the smoothie makers. Sales often take place when the crop is still in the ground but it depends on the product.”
It is free to register on the site and payments can be made via bank transfer, credit or debit card, Paypal or Stripe. Takestock takes a 15 per cent commission after the sale has completed. Visit www.takestock.com.