AN ESTIMATED 15 tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year, at a cost of £5bn. This is widely acknowledged as a problem and now one big supermarket has taken action to combat this, by giving all of its surplus food to charity instead of sending it to landfill. After trialling this in 112 Yorkshire stores Morrisons have now rolled out this scheme across the nation.
The results of the trial showed that there was up to four trolleys full of unperished food that could be donated from each store a week. However, due to the varying foods at different stores one member of staff is to be nominated from each store to liaise with charity staff to ensure that a variety of food is donated up and down the country.
Stephen Butts, head of corporate responsibility for Morrisons, had this to say:
“The challenge is finding the right community partners to work with. What we have available will vary.
Ideally we are looking for groups that can cook the food, meaning they can blend it [with food from other sources].”
Though they are still unable to donate food which has past its sell-by date there is still a huge amount that can be given. 180,000 people have come together in support of a petition demanding that other major UK supermarkets follow suit, asking that “rather than wasting millions of pounds worth of food that is still usable, supermarkets donate their leftover products that are still safe to eat to food banks.”
Tesco have begun taking steps to reduce their own food waste (which totalled over 55,000 tonnes last year alone) by expanding their charity food scheme. There has been no statement issued by Sainsbury’s and Asda.