How We Work

Our vision

Best Before Project started back in April 2011 an informal group of people concerned with the vast amount of perfectly edible food being wasted at every stage of the food distribution chain, especially resulting from the misinterpretation of ‘best before’ labels on food. VAST amounts of food approaching or passed its ‘best before’ date are being thrown away every day both by food suppliers and households – perfectly edible food with a label that indicates no more than a possibility that the quality of the food will no longer be guaranteed by the manufacturer as advertised. This means thousands of tonnes of rice, pasta, grains, tinned food, drinks, virtually all sorts of non-perishable food are being simply sent to landfill.

Following the guidelines of the Food Standards Agency’s, the NHS’s and DEFRA’s on the safety of the food and legality of its redistribution we began to save food from landfill. We did this by approaching food wholesalers and retailers and encouraging them not to throw away food approaching or past its 'best before' date, but to either SELL it at a discount or DONATE it to local charities, or in the case of large quantities or if one point of contact is required, directly to Best Before Project for further redistribution. We have developed into a smoothly functioning network of volunteers working in partnership with food businesses and food charities. Large quantities of such food are being distributed by us through a network of local depots.

Our network

Best Before Project operates through a network of local teams supported by our core team based in London. We work with food retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, encouraging them not to throw away food approaching or past its ‘best before’ date, but to either SELL it, for example at a discounted price, or DONATE it to local charities. We connect local businesses and local charities, creating a much-needed ‘waste’, or surplus, food redistribution network. In case of larger quantities our local teams will arrange a pick-up from the supplier and redistribute to charities via our network of local storage spaces.

  • We have several food redistribution depots run by our local teams of volunteers in partnership with local business and charities.

  • We cooperate and exchange information with most, if not all, major organisations tackling the problem of food waste as we believe that together we deliver a comprehensive solution to the problem. Find us in Tottenham, Holborn, Northwood Hills, Tulse Hill, and East Acton with more depots being set up in Edmonton and Peckham (see our BBP map).

  • ‘Free food shop’ in Richmond and ‘Free food’ sections in Healthy Planet’s Free Bookshops in Holborn and Richmond where people can come and taste various food items that we have saved from landfill, see for themselves what we are all about and even take some food home!

  • We are keen food sponsors of various sustainability, community empowerment and environment-related events which highlight the problem of the current levels of food waste.

  • We run educational campaigns at various community events. We give samples of food, talk about the current levels of food waste, highlight organisations working to tackle the problem and their solutions, explain the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ labels on food and tell people what we do. It’s also a good opportunity to get people onboard.

  • We are in touch with public bodies, local councils and anyone willing to listen and act, always talking about the problem of food waste and presenting viable solutions.

Where we are

  • We run food redistribution depots ‘free food shops’. They chaneg in time, so we keep them updated in our map. Our local teams work in partnership with local food businesses, food charities and community groups.

  • In addition, we have ‘free food’ sections in other charities shops where people can sample food we redistribute, learn about what we do and even take some ‘waste’ food home.

  • See our map for more details of our local teams and giveaway points. We welcome enquiries from individuals or gorups who want to open new and organisations all over the UK and beyond who are interested in tackling the problem of food waste together.

View Best Before Project Map in a larger window

Our partners


- Plan Zheroes: Plan Zheroes is a citizens initiative’ with the aim to inspire and connect food businesses with local charities helping people in need and preventing food waste. They offer an online map to help match food donors and recipients based on proximity, the type of food and when it is available.

- The People’s Kitchen: The People’s Kitchen is a chef-led community food waste initiative. Each Sunday, volunteers pick up wonky fruit and veg from local shopkeepers. With the help of volunteer chefs and 'cooks', this food is prepped and cooked into a dazzling array of delicious dishes for a weekly,

alternative Sunday dinner, taking food surplus and turning it into a beautiful banquet for all.

- Brixton People’s Kitchen: The Brixton People’s Kitchen is a travelling kitchen popping up in diverse community spaces to turn food surplus collected from local businesses into free and healthy meals for local people.

- Feeding the 5000: Feeding the 5000 is a campaign that aims to empower and inspire the global community to enact positive solutions to the global issue of food waste. They work with governments, businesses and civil society at the international level to catalyse change in social attitudes and innovative solutions necessary to tackle food waste at the global scale.


- FareShare: FareShare is a unique charity fighting hunger and its underlying causes by redistributing surplus food to hundreds of local charities across the UK. By ensuring good food is not wasted, they turn an environmental problem into a solution, helping to feed thousands of vulnerable people every day.

- FoodCycle: FoodCycle builds communities by combining volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to create nutritious meals for people at risk from food poverty and social isolation.

- This is Rubbish: This is Rubbish calls for policy change through the participatory arts and food waste feasting.

- FoodAware: FoodAware is a 'not for profit' social enterprise set up to find ways of redistributing surplus food from potential waste to human consumption or other environmentally friendly means of reuse.

- Waste Watch: Waste Watch inspires people to waste less and to live more sustainably.


  • WRAP: Their campaigns help you to reduce and recycle more. Love food, hate waste campaign: Help individuals reduce food waste both inside and outside the home.

  • London Community Resource Network: Best Before Project is a member of LCRN, which supports communities and organisations in sustainable resource management.

Our Calendar

Here we mention eventual events that we will host or attend, you can add the calendars to yours with the bottom-right corner button.