// Central England Co-op’s food waste levels dropped from 2445 tonnes in 2017 to 1085 tonnes in 2020
// Achieved this by improving ordering processes & through a food redistribution partnership with FareShare
// The latter ensures 100% of its best before products are handed out to hundreds of local good causes
Central England Co-op has revealed that it has reduced its food waste by 40 per cent during the past three years.
The retailer, which has over 240 grocery stores across 16 counties, announced that its food waste levels dropped from 2445 tonnes in 2017 to 1085 tonnes in 2020.
It achieved this by improving ordering processes and through a food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands.
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The food distribution scheme allows the retailer to ensure 100 per cent of its best before products are handed out to hundreds of local good causes.
For improving ordering processes, a Central England Co-op spokesperson said the retailer has implemented smarter, sales based ordering so it does not stockpile products in its shops distribution centre.
The Central England Co-op also said it observes ranges in certain stores and matches them with customers better.
“We are proud that our hard work to reduce food waste has had such an impact over the past three years,” Central England Co-op energy and environment lead Luke Olly said.
“This has been delivered through ongoing improvements in ordering processes and the roll out of our FareShare Midlands redistribution process which redistributes 100 per cent of end-of-shelf life best before products to community partners across our trading estate.
“We backhaul items to one central location which enables our partner Fareshare Midlands to offer the food for free, with beneficiaries able to pre-order amounts and categories dependant on their needs.
“We continue to refine and improve our current processes as well as looking at rolling out new ones to ensure we carry on with our efforts to continue to reduce our levels of food waste, something that is vitally important as a responsible retailer.”
The Central England Co-op said its recent work with FareShare Midlands to redistribute food has resulted in the creation of over two million meals for those in need during the pandemic.
The scheme sees all best before food items and non-food goods that cannot be sold taken to the retailer’s food distribution centre in Leicester, where it is then delivered to FareShare which sends them to support dozens of local charities all year round.