Using surplus food in animal feed

  • Building the Business Case
  • Guidance on diverting surplus food to animal feed
  • Case studies from manufacturing and retail

Wherever possible, surplus food should be used to feed people first.  Where this isn’t possible, using it in animal feed has considerable economic and environmental benefits for food and drink companies.

Every year in the UK, around 660,000 tonnes of former foodstuffs are processed as animal feed, worth £110 million. But recent research has indicated up to 800,000 tonnes of food surplus could be suitable for use in animal feed.

On the environmental side, food and drink sent to animal feed is not legally defined as ‘waste’ because it is classed as a method of waste prevention therefore having a lower environmental impact than waste management routes.

To help food and drink companies send more surplus food for use in animal feed, WRAP has produced a suite of resources to help you make a strong business case, navigate all of the statutory requirements surrounding animal feed, and see how others are benefitting from switching from waste disposal to animal feed routes.

Coming soon: Building the Business Case for diverting surplus food to animal feed

Disposing of food waste to AD or landfill has a cost, but surpluses for animal feed usually achieve an income; this document will help you see how the figures stack up. 

It will also provide information on how the environmental case for using food surplus in animal feed can boost a business’ Corporate Social Responsibility achievements.  
Guidance on sending surplus food to animal feed

This guide is aimed at food and drink producers, manufacturers and retailers, logistics providers and wholesalers who are already sending food surpluses to animal feed or those who wish to investigate the possibilities for their company. It will help you identify suitable surplus food, understand the current legislation, and implement robust processes and procedures.

Examples of how manufacturers and retailers are benefitting from sending surplus food to animal feed

Arla Foods

Arla have worked with their partners to send 100% of surplus food from their largest factory to animal feed, instead of anaerobic digestion, achieving significant cost reductions.


Tesco and SugaRich

Tesco and SugaRich have worked together to divert 80% of surplus bakery products from anaerobic digestion to animal feed.


Coca-Cola Enterprises

By diverting surplus soft drink products away from anaerobic digestion to redistribution and animal feed, Coca-Cola Enterprises have created net cost savings and helped food charities provide social value.


Further information

Sign up to our food & drink newsletter to keep up-to-date with new guidance and tools from WRAP.