January 13, 2017

Waitrose announces trial with FareShare FoodCloud to redistribute surplus food

Waitrose’s commitment to reduce food waste sees it launch a trial with FareShare FoodCloud today.

The charity food redistribution programme will make it easier for branches to let local charities know of surplus goods. Shops simply input details of available food into an app and connected charities receive a text alert when items are ready for collection. This will build on relationships branches already have with local groups as well as recruiting new ones, with the technology making the process even simpler and quicker. 
Initially there will be a trial in 25 branches across the UK. If successful, the aim is to expand this to all Waitrose shops nationwide within 12 months after the trial finishes. Having every branch linked with local charities via the FoodCloud app will bring more efficient communication and help to get food to people who need it more quickly.

Being a founding signatory to the Courtauld Commitment (the pledge of businesses to reduce food waste) Waitrose is dedicated to minimising surplus and has provided training for all branch Partners (employees) on food waste reduction. Adopting the FareShare FoodCloud programme will be key in making Partners’ work in this area easier.

Another way Waitrose has tackled food waste has been through buying as much of farmers’ crops as possible. This led the retailer to launch the ‘Little Less Than Perfect’ range of misshapen fruit and vegetables in February 2016. Additions to this range continue with contorted pears being introduced at the end of last year.

FareShare was established as a food redistribution charity over 20 years ago. It provides a range of services including a support team for charities using the FoodCloud app. They ensure only groups who can safely collect, store and prepare food are linked with a local shop. This guarantees all Waitrose surplus food will go to organisations properly equipped to provide meals to vulnerable communities.

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability at Waitrose, said “This will help food get to those who need it quickly and make a real difference in helping feed vulnerable people. Reducing food waste is a top priority for us, as is supporting local communities, and this trial will help our branches focus their resources even more effectively. We look forward to evaluating the success of the trial.“

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare UK CEO, said: “We are excited to be starting the year with an expansion to our store-level programme that enables forward thinking retailers like Waitrose to redistribute surplus food quickly to charities in their local community. Waitrose is demonstrating real commitment to tackling surplus food waste and I invite “other retailers to follow their lead and find out how FareShare FoodCloud programme could work to benefit their business and local communities.“

Article source: Waitrose