The WRAP trials have shown there is potential for supermarkets to redistribute their excess food at store-level, and also that new case studies and Guiding Principles from the Food Redistribution Industry Working Group (IWG) provide information and opportunity for action across the supply chain.
The trials, detailed in the new report published today – The Food Connection Programme – is the UK’s first piece of quantitative research on store-level surplus food redistribution.
The research found that whilst tonnages of surplus food available at store level are small in comparison to the whole supply chain, the volumes are sufficient to deliver real benefit to those who need it.
Andy Dawe, WRAP – “Both the Industry Working Group and the trials were intended to build on the current good practice and better understand the challenges, and possible solutions, to make redistribution a more viable option for all involved”
The report also highlights that the barriers to rolling out redistribution from stores on a nationwide scale are still significant due to current capacity and resource limitations within both charity and retailer processes.
Information from the trials was shared with the Industry Working Group (IWG) to further inform the discussions taking place throughout the whole supply chain. The IWG brought together retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, charities and other industry bodies and collectively they have been able to share good practice and build on the good work already being undertaken.
In order to help the sector do something now, the Food Connection Programme report identifies a number of “quick-win” recommendations:
- Undertake a waste audit to understand what surpluses are regularly occurring and why
- Understand your organisation’s policies around surplus food redistribution and/or use the Guiding Principles to Food Redistribution to help develop a policy
- Encourage your organisation to adopt the Guiding Principles to Food Redistribution in order to prioritise the food waste hierarchy and communicate your approach to surplus food redistribution both internally and externally
- If your organisation’s policy allows, identify local charities or hubs that could take your surpluses
- Work with the charity to develop a Service Level Agreement and use the tools and resources in this report to develop agreements, collection notes and delivery notes so that you can track and trace food redistribution
- Communicate and celebrate success of redistribution work and the positive impact this has from stores in their communities.
Andy Dawe, Head of Food & Drink at WRAP, said: “Both the Industry Working Group and the trials were intended to build on the current good practice and better understand the challenges, and possible solutions, to make redistribution a more viable option for all involved.
“By drawing on the experiences and expertise of both the voluntary and business sectors, we now have a better understanding of the surpluses available at store level and are closer to overcoming some of the barriers to redistribution, both at store level and across the supply chain.
“The working group has laid the foundations which the whole sector can build upon. In order to realise many food waste prevention opportunities we now need to see more collaboration within the industry, and with charities, to expand on this good work and make more of this valuable food available to those that need it.”
Greg Sage Community Director at Tesco’s said: “We want to ensure that our surplus food goes to helping feed people in need. We are already working in partnership with FareShare on our Neighbourhood Food Collections and donations of surplus fresh food from our distribution centres and online grocery stores. We were delighted to have been involved in the WRAP trial. We would like to extend this work in the coming year, and we are working closely with FareShare and FoodCycle to achieve that.”
For the full report CLICK HERE