As part of our ambition to halve our emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, we already ensure that none of our surplus food goes to waste. We redistribute it, turn it into energy or feed it to animals. But we want to do more than that. We want to prevent it from becoming waste in the first place.
As a part of our close association with WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), we’ve joined forces with a number of food waste charities, including Company Shop, Community Shop, FareShare and FoodCloud (Ireland).
Company Shop, Community Shop
Company Shop Group is the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food. Our commitment to their social enterprise, Community Shop, is the largest of any UK food manufacturer.
Community Shop is a community food centre supporting people in some of the UK’s most deprived communities.
The shop is made up of:
- Community Kitchen – a café and cookery school
- Community Hub – a community learning and mentoring hub
- Community Store – a standard convenience store with products at 30 per cent of the retail price.
The food provided by Company Shop is safe and in-date but can’t be sold through traditional retail for a variety of reasons – for example, a KitKat without wafers, an Aero mint chocolate bar with an orange centre or simply damaged packaging.
In addition to redistributing through them, we also donate 25 per cent of our factory food surplus to them to help those in need. That’s the equivalent of more than 8 million meals.
Fair’s fair with FareShare
Since we became partners with FareShare in 2005, we’ve provided 2,800 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food to feed vulnerable people. That equates to 6 million meals that would otherwise have gone to waste.
As a result, our resource efficiency has increased. We’ve created and implemented more enhanced demand planning. And we’re generating less surplus food across our business.
Ahead in the cloud with FoodCloud
Since our partnership with FoodCloud began in 2018, we’ve contributed 38 tonnes of surplus food to be redistributed to charities in Ireland. That’s the equivalent of about 90, 524 meals. That has avoided about 118 tonnes of CO2.
We were also the first supplier in Ireland to make per pallet financial contributions to FoodCloud Hubs. This is to cover the costs of managing, storing and redistributing unforeseen food surpluses. This creates a new, sustainable income stream for FoodCloud.
Our collaboration with food redistributors has also helped us to gain new insights into resource efficiency. This benefits not just our own operations, but the industry as a whole.
It’s important for companies to get involved in this kind of operation. Rather than sending surplus food to landfill or for incineration, it can be put to good use and have a positive impact on local communities. We don’t just want to make a difference to them today, but for tomorrow and future generations as well.
Support during the pandemic
Before COVID-19, an estimated 8.4 million people were living in food poverty in the UK. Since the pandemic struck, this number has risen dramatically in both the UK and Ireland.
In July 2020, we made a £1 million investment in Community Shop (UK) to help vulnerable families access food for their children. The investment gave about 40,000 more families access to food over the school holidays.
We continued support for those at risk of hunger during the Christmas period, partnering again with Community Shop to provide food and festive goodies for 45,000 families.
To meet the alarming rise in demand for food access, we also helped Community Shop to open a new store in Liverpool, in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. The store offers nutritious food at heavily discounted prices, a community kitchen and support services to help people get back on their feet.
In September 2020, we further supported FoodCloud, in Ireland, with an investment of €110,000 for a pilot project to address food poverty as a result of COVID-19.