30. June 2022

Reducing food waste with positive, creative approaches

Bind is a non-profit food waste hub in Newcastle that uses positive, creative approaches to reduce food waste and drive behaviour change so that more food can be saved. Kavli Trust has decided to support Bind with NOK 1.35 million ( £112 000) for 2022-2023 so that they can scale up their activities.


“Kavli Trust is excited to enter this partnership and support Bind’s innovative work to reduce food waste,” says General Manager of Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

Bind uses positive, creative approaches to reduce food waste and drive behaviour change.

“As a player in the food industry, Kavli Trust has a special responsibility as well as an extra potential to find good solutions within responsible consumption and production. Projects that can save food from waste are therefore a high priority for Kavli Trust,” says Iversen.

Changing public attitudes

Bind was founded by Duncan Fairbrother and Jess Miller in 2015. Both have worked in the food industry, and wanted to use their expertise to do something about climate challenges related to food waste.

Bind focuses on changing public attitudes, education, local policy and collaborating with local private, public and third sector organisations to deliver consistent, effective projects to reduce food waste.

Through its work, Bind saves an average of two tons of food a week, or approxematly 1000 tons per year.

«We are really excited by the grant from the Kavli Trust. It comes at a really pivotal time for Bind. We are in a period of rapid growth and the grant will allow us to increase our capacity to manage our various projects to reduce food waste effectively,» says Duncan Fairbrother.

Pay as you feel

As a core part of their strategy, Bind has opened a café called The Magic Hat Cafe. The cafe aims to divert good food from landfill, and raise awareness on food waste by ‘upcycling’ surplus food to feed the community.

Food that would otherwise be sent to landfill is collected from local food businesses and households in and around Newcastle upon Tyne. The food includes fruit and vegetables that are unattractive; bakery products that can only be sold on the day of production, surplus from food growers and end-of-line or unsold produce.

Chefs then prepare this would-be-waste into nutritious meals and drinks, which are served to the public on a ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ donations basis.


THE MAGIC HAT: The Magic Hat serves food four days every week. Bind

Getting kids involved

Eat Smart is an educational programme which looks at food waste created on a primary school site, and helps children to understand the importance of reducing food waste from a young age.

KITCHEN: At The Magic Hat. Photo: Bind

The Eat Smart scheme gets pupils involved in reducing waste in their school by carrying out a food waste audit across the whole site, and involving them in designing solutions to tackle the problem.

The programme has been implemented at nine local schools, and according to Bind, this has reduced food waste annually by 30 percent in these nine schools.

With support from Kavli Trust, the programme will be expanded to 30 primary schools in Newcastle and Gateshead over two years.

“We are delighted to be able to re-launch our work in primary schools with the Eat Smart project. This is particularly timely after not being able to visit schools with this project thoughout the pandemic,” says Duncan Fairbrother, adding:

“The funding from Kavli Trust provides us some stability and the ability to be able to invest into making the organisation sustainable for the future. All of the beneficiaries of Bind will see a marked difference in our provision, as the quality of our services increases and we have the capacity to up-scale our acitivities to reach more people. ”

Bind is also collaborating with the University of Newcastle to strengthen the necessary infrastructure and develop an app for reducing food waste.

Efficient and innovative

“Going forward, we want to strengthen our support towards our second focus area, climate, responsible consumption and production. Bind Food Waste is an efficient, innovative, and recognised organisation in Newcastle who we are excited to support”, says Head of the Kavli Trust grants programme in the UK, Rune Mørland.

“Through our partnership, Bind and Kavli Trust will not only work together to ensure the redistribution of food through The Magic Hat Cafe, but also in supporting the food audit programme Eat Smart, and the Partnership Programme to establish a common strategy for food waste together with the City Council of Newcastle,” says Mørland.

Also General Manager of Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen, has great faith in the Bind concept.

“Kavli Trust has supported the establishment of nine food centres in Norway, which saves surplus food from waste and donates it to charities. We are looking forward to following Bind’s good work in the UK,” says Iversen.

Alle photos below are from The Magic Hat. Photo: Bind