THE body that promotes Hampshire food, drink and crafts has become the first of its kind in the country to partner with an app aimed at reducing waste.

Hampshire Fare is encouraging businesses to register with the Too Good To Go app and offer their food waste for sale at a discount.

Tracy Nash, commercial manager at Hampshire Fare – a not-for-profit organisation with nearly 400 members – said: “People are increasingly aware that food waste is a massive problem which needs addressing. This partnership is a decisive step towards helping our members tackle food waste issues.

“Too Good To Go has an approach that is fun, functional, and provides an easy-to-use platform for both businesses and consumers. As the first county food group in the country to partner with Too Good To Go, I view this as a positive for Hampshire as well as Hampshire Fare members.

“This initiative is a win-win-win. It allows Hampshire Fare members to cover some food waste costs, the purchaser makes a good value buy, and edible food is not wasted. In addition, Hampshire Fare members who sign up will benefit by having the first year’s admin fee waived.”

Businesses with regular food waste register with Too Good To Go and leave their surplus food in “magic bags” – so called because the contents do not have to be listed and come as a surprise to the buyer. The bags are listed on the Too Good To Go app at a third of the product cost.

Nicola Luscombe, Hampshire lead for Too Good To Go, said: “We are very excited to be launching our partnership with Hampshire Fare. This is the first between a major food group and Too Good To Go, and we are aiming to pioneer a ground-breaking and impactful partnership. Our mission is to save tens of thousands of meals from the bin and help to place Hampshire at the forefront of food waste initiatives.

“The positive is that the app helps to reduce food waste and its impact on the environment. There are also benefits for businesses. Too Good To Go helps businesses to meet their sustainability objectives, cover costs, and provides opportunities to engage with the community and build relationships with new customers. It has been shown that 76 per cent of Magic Bag buyers return as full paying customers.

“‘Rescuing’ one Magic Bag every day from one store for a year is equivalent to preventing the amount of CO2e emitted from driving a car from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back.”

Peter Williamson, owner of the Hog Shack cafe and farm shop in Eastleigh, said: “As a new business start-up we launched with Too Good To Go as a way of raising awareness and gaining new customers.

“Money raised via Too Good To Go can cover the cost of ingredients and saves good food from going to waste. We include anything on our menu, such as cake, sausage rolls and salad pots, and the magic bags have been very popular.”