News Food Waste

London's Borough Market sends surplus food for use by a local charity

A new food waste initiative is operating out of Borough Market, sending unsold bread, fruit and veg to the local Dragon Café, to be served up to disadvantaged and vulnerable local people.

From Saturday 21st June 2014, a new food waste initiative will be operating out of Borough Market for the first time. Unsold bread, fruit and veg from the Market will be collected by FoodSave, with the help of Plan Zheroes, at the end of Saturday trading and donated to The Dragon Café on Borough High Street. 

Borough Market was matched with local charity, The Dragon Café, by the FoodSave project, which offers free support to small and medium food businesses in London to help them address the food waste issue. The development of the scheme has been supported by Plan Zheroes, which finds, supports and inspires food businesses that are willing to donate their surplus food to local charities.

The Dragon Café is part of Mental Fight Club. Every Monday The Dragon Café provides a simple, affordable and healthy menu and a wide range of creative and well-being activities, all of which are free and open to all.  Vulnerable people are particularly welcome and over 200 customers are served each week. In time there may also be the opportunity to help additional charities that can use Market ingredients picked up during the week after trading.

The Borough Market traders involved to date are the Bread Ahead Bakery, Karaway Bakery, Olivier’s Bakery, Ted’s Veg and Paul Wheeler (Fresh Supplies) Ltd. Together they are joining over 240 small and medium-sized food businesses in London diverting surplus food responsibly.  

Keith Davis, Managing Director of Borough Market said: “Borough Market is committed to inspiring people about food, creativity and sustainability - whether it’s our 100% landfill free policy or collecting coffee grounds from our restaurants to use in our Market Hall garden.  Working with FoodSave, we are proud to be doing our bit to reduce as much food waste as possible, before using surplus food to feed people in need.” 

Charlotte Jarman, FoodSave project officer at Sustain, said: “We are very excited to be working with such an iconic London food destination as Borough Market to divert surplus food to good causes such as The Dragon Café.   Let’s hope that this move inspires other markets around the capital to set up similar schemes.”

For more information about Borough Market, its traders and events please visit 

Photos available on request.

For more information contact Ellie Weehuizen, Communications Assistant, on 020 7940 7908, or email

Notes to Editors

  • Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. Borough has long been synonymous with food markets and as far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock.  In the 13th century traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since.
  • FoodSave follows the principles of the Food Waste Hierarchy, which starts by helping businesses to reduce as much food waste as possible, before using surplus food to feed people in need and directing food unfit for human consumption to feed livestock where legally permissible. Finally, where food waste cannot be avoided or redistributed, the project aims to ensure it is handled responsibly, for example used in composting or renewable energy generation. FoodSave is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the London Waste and Recycling Board and the Mayor of London, and is managed by the Greater London Authority and supported by the London Food Board
  • Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming is a delivery partner on the FoodSave project, working with retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers.
  • The Sustainable Restaurant Association is also working on FoodSave, targeting restaurants, hotels and pubs. 
  • Plan Zheroes’ mission is to find, support and inspire food businesses who are willing to donate their surplus food to local charities and people who need it, and promote them as Zero Food Waste Heroes.
  • The Dragon Café is Mental Fight Club’s latest creative project: a relaxing café and imaginative space, open to all on Mondays only, 12-8 pm. Opposite Borough Tube Station in The Crypt of St George the Martyr Church, Borough High Street, SE1 1JA. 


Published 20 Jun 2014

Food Waste: Sustain supports a reduction in food surplus, loss and waste.

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