Transforming food waste into animal feed

The Herbalife distribution center in Venray (the Netherlands) has been working with Nijsen Granico, an animal feed company that produces products solely based on waste streams from food companies. We recycle some of our food products that would have otherwise gone to the waste stream by sending to Nijsen Granico to transform them into animal feed.

The aim of this new initiative is to divert unused/expired food products and transform them in a sustainable way, into animal feed.

Our unused/expired products from across Europe (mostly from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy) are shipped to our Herbalife Nutrition Venray distribution center, where it is then picked up by our partner Nijsen Granico, who transports it into its factory (in Veulen, near Venray) for processing.

Carrefour's widescale and well-established policy of donating to charities

Carrefour recovers food products excluded from sale through donations to charitable organizations, which in 2019 represented the equivalent of 105 million meals distributed free of charge around the world. In Italy, the Carrefour foundation supports the project of the seventh social table “Refettorio” by Food for Soul, the objective of which is to serve meals to the poorest in aesthetic and friendly places. Carrefour Italy and “Fondazione Banco Alimentare” have also set up the collection of fresh products in all Carrefour stores in Italy.

Mercadona facilitates the most basic needs of 12,900 families in Spain

An Ecodes study has quantified the social benefit generated by the company at €42.5 million. Mercadona collaborated in the year 2018 with a total of 170 social canteens and other entities, among which it has distributed more than 8,300 tons of food worth €11.5 million. According to the report, thanks to this initiative, which is part of its social collaboration project, 12,900 families benefited from this support. The study based on SROI (social return on investments in its acronym in English) reflects that the program carried out by the retailer generates a clear multiplier effect until reaching a contribution in 2018 that, indirectly, exceeded €42.5 million in social returns.

German retailer EDEKA & Apeel cut retail food waste by 50%

In August 2020, EDEKA and Apeel released the results of a pilot project rolled out in 2.900 EDEKA and Netto Marken-Discount stores in Germany. Apeel has developed a plant-based protective coating that keeps fruit and vegetables fresh longer and extends quality and shelf life across the supply chain. EDEKA experienced a 50% reduction in food waste in the avocado category and a 20% increase in sales. Following the successful pilot, EDEKA introduced Apeel produces at more than 11.000 EDEKA and Netto stores. In partnership with their suppliers, EDEKA and Apeel plan to introduce additional longer-lasting produce categories and thus strengthen their commitment to sustainability.

Pioneering solutions: SPAR Austria slashes food waste, encourages food sharing

Each discarded food item is one too many. To avoid any such loss, SPAR stores throughout Austria donate food that has reached its sell-by date but is still edible to about 200 different social institutions or food sharers. Standing at just 1%, the amount of unsold food items at SPAR Austria is particularly low. Purchasing, storage and transport systems at SPAR are aimed at keeping food wastage at an absolute minimum. SPAR stores cooperate with social organisations, local food banks or food sharing initiatives on a voluntary basis. According to a report by the Austrian Climate Protection Ministry, 12,250 tonnes of food are donated to social organisations through retailers every year.

Carrefour committed to reducing its food waste by 50% by 2025

Carrefour stores are deploying solutions to sell products rather than wasting them: repackaging items; offering baskets of unsold goods at low prices; creating short-term promotions; and deploying aisle displays dedicated to products with a use-by date that has passed. in 2019, Carrefour has managed to reduce food waste by 10% (vs. 2016). The group also provides its customers with the Too Good To Go application, which uses smartphones to identify unsold food baskets at low prices. In 2019, Too Good To Go was rolled out in 2,624 stores across France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Poland and enabled the group to save enabled us to save more than a million meals since 2017.

Belgian retail association Comeos launches food donation brochure

With the Flemish Region and the Region of Brussels, the Belgian Retail association Comeos signed commitments with the objectives to (amongst others) reduce food waste and to enhance food donations. To facilitate the latter, Comeos created a first food donation brochure in 2015, showing the different platforms for food donation, the food safety measures, food quality standards, financial benefits etc. When the brochure was updated in 2019, Comeos observed a threefold increase in food donations by Belgian supermarkets between 2015 and 2018, suggesting that food donation systems has been successfully implemented by Belgian retailers.

SME retailers with a Super Supermarket Certificate organise campaigns against food waste

Together against food waste, matter of doing! Preventing food waste is an important topic under the Super Supermarket Certificate (SSK). SSK is the Dutch certification for independent SME food retailers who are both locally and socially involved. An awareness campaign encourages customers not to take the products with the longest shelf life. Products to be consumed within two days are labelled with a specific sticker to make customers more aware of their role in tackling food waste. It is more difficult for some product categories. In collaboration with Wageningen University, a pilot program is conducted to use residual flows of bread as an ingredient to produce a high-quality, local and sustainable beer. A complete practical manual with a step-by-step plan for brewing beer is available for SSK certified retailers.

Jerónimo Martins strengthens social support

To fight hunger and malnutrition, while backing educational and social organisations, the Group has been supporting several causes that impact the most vulnerable groups in society: children, young people and the elderly. In 2020, a direct support of 47.6 million euros (10% more than in 2019) was allocated to those priorities, reaching more than 1 million people from over 1,000 charities. The Group’s stores in Poland, Portugal and Colombia donate surplus food that fully comply with food safety conditions, but that cannot be sold, to charities working close with people in vulnerable situations. In 2020, food donations increased 19% to over 18,600 tonnes.

METRO reports on progress with preventing food waste

METRO saved close to 6,000 tonnes of food from being thrown away over the past 3 financial years and, in the past 12 months alone, donated more than 19,000 tonnes of food around the world. These are 2 of the many good pieces of news featured in METRO’s first Food Waste Report, which the wholesale company published in June 2022 regarding its commitment to tackling food waste. This is founded on systematic monitoring and reporting, close collaboration with stakeholders all along the value chain, the implementation of new technological solutions and active involvement in international forums and bodies.

Lidl gives fruits and vegetables a second chance

With the introduction in Germany of the rescue bag, Lidl is taking another important step as part of the Lidl food rescue service. The rescue bag, which weighs up to five kilograms, contains various types of fruit and vegetables. This includes, for example, items where the packaging has been damaged or only individual products need to be isolated. This initiative, following a successful pilot phase in a regional branch, will be extended to the 3,200+ Lidl branches in Germany. Lidl and its customers are working together to combat food waste.

The best strategy against food waste is prevention

“The food waste indicator that we consider in ASEDAS is the percentage of unsold and not reused product. According to this, the wastage rate would not exceed 1 percent of the marketed product and would include cases such as product breakage, damaged packaging, breakage of the cold chain, product recall due to food alerts, etc.
Three successful measures to prevent wastage at ASEDAS: better management with the introduction of key indicators throughout the supply chain and the use of Big Data to avoid food waste; Donation of products that are not suitable for sale for commercial reasons; awareness campaigns on the need to make an adequate purchase to the consumption needs.”

180,200 shopping carts to Food Banks

Mercadona’s donations are the equivalent of more than 180,200 shopping carts, have been allocated to the more than 410 soup kitchens, 60 food banks and other charities in Spain and Portugal with which the company collaborates. Mercadona supports as well other initiatives organized by the Food Banks of Spain, such as the “Great Collection” or the “Virtual Kilo Operations”, in which it collaborates with its human and logistical resources.

A new life for ripe fruits

The aim of the “Liebe²” concept is to give products from the fruit and vegetables sector that are still edible but no longer salable a new use. At the same time this project creates varied jobs for people with disabilities. Since 2018 there has been the project “Love² – save ripe fruits”, which was awarded the regional star of the food practice and the Green Week in 2019, at EDEKA Minden-Hannover. Fruit and vegetables that are unsuitable for sale but too good to throw away are given a “second life” – as e.g. chutneys, ketchup, sauces or fruit spreads.

Removing best before date on fruits and vegetables

Best before dates will be removed from the labelling of over 300 fruit and vegetable products – 85% of M&S’ produce offering – including commonly wasted items apples, potatoes and broccoli. Dates will be replaced with a new code which M&S store colleagues will use to ensure freshness and quality is maintained. As part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap, M&S has pledged to halve food waste by 2030, with 100% of edible surplus to be redistributed by 2025.

Metro commits to eliminate 50% of wasted food in its own operations by 2025

The reduction of food waste is a core aspect of METRO’s sustainability strategy. METRO has committed to eliminate 50% of wasted food in its own operations by the year 2025. In the 22 countries in which the wholesaler operates, it cooperates with food service organizations and social institutions to avoid food waste in its’ stores, restaurants, and warehouses. In Germany, Metro has been collaborating with the foodbank “Die Tafel” for over 20 years. In 2018, METRO Germany donated about 8 Million meals to people in need. In Romania, METRO and some retailers have built a food banks network together with the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA).

The IKEA Food Waste Initiative: “Food Is Precious”

The first IKEA restaurant opened in 1959, and today 680 million people enjoy its food offer around the world. With this size comes a big responsibility – and an opportunity. In 2017, IKEA set a goal to reduce production food waste in all IKEA stores globally by 50% by the end of FY20. While the company did not reach that goal, IKEA did achieve some great results and implemented food waste solutions in more than 60% of all stores globally, resulting in an average waste reduction of 32%. That equals more than 10 million meals not wasted. Everyday IKEA is diminishing food waste and the ambition is now to diminish the production food waste by 50% by the end of 2022 in all IKEA stores globally.

Sonae develops platform to combat food waste

Portuguese retail group Sonae plans to develop an innovative digital platform to help combat waste in stores. The LIFEFood Cycle project will facilitate the digital management of surplus goods, optimising donations to charities and selling food products close to sell by date to business partners at a lower price.The project, which aims to improve the sustainability of the food system, has been developed in consortium with Phenix, and co-financed by the EU’s LIFE programme. In 2019, €12.3 million in food surpluses were donated to welfare institutions and animal support associations. All Continente stores have partnerships in place with one or more local institutions for the donation of food surpluses.

Mercadona against food waste

“Mercadona has its own Waste Management Policy in which, through different strategies, it reduces food waste in its processes:
– Prioritise for quality: use freshly squeezed oranges of high quality for the juice service that could not be sold due to their appearance or size
– Convert the useless: If any product expires, it is made available to authorised partners to transform it into energy or fertilizer.
– Just what you need: Mercadona does not support the idea of ​​buying more or storing, therefore, it does not carry out promotions / offers that do not promote responsible consumption and, on the contrary, it applies the Always Low Prices policy.”

Over 100,000 tonnes of "Ugly" fruits and vegetables integrated in the value chain

Jerónimo Martins is committed to reducing 50% of the food waste associated with its operations by 2030, in line with goal 12.3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We buy non-standard size vegetables from suppliers, which are used in the soups sold in our Polish and Portuguese chains or are transformed into food solutions such as pre-cut and washed ready-to-use vegetables. Also, Recheio Cash & Carry sells “ugly” unprocessed fruit at reduced prices. Jerónimo Martins Agro-Alimentar also sources by-products from the food industry and non-standard vegetables to be incorporated into the cattle feed. Between 2015 and 2020, 102,450 tonnes of “ugly” products were recovered from being waste.

Ahold Delhaize working with others to reduce food waste under the 10x20x30 initiative

In September 2019, Ahold Delhaize became a founding partner of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) 10x20x30 initiative, which brings together 10 global food retailers who have each committed to engage with 20 of their priority suppliers to halve their rates of food loss and waste by 2030. This private sector commitment is designed to be a significant advancement toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3, which calls for a 50% reduction in food loss and waste by 2030 worldwide. Over the first year, this group of retailers has engaged a total of almost 200 suppliers to join the effort and address this global challenge.

Minimizing food waste through labelling

Sonae has several initiatives in place to deal with food waste and efficient waste recovery that aim at improving circularity. To optimise our efforts, MC developed an analytical model to calcu-late the probability of sale of each product close to the expiration date in each store and at dif-ferent price brackets. This information allows MC to fine-tune its selling strategy and minimise food waste. In-store, MC promotes several initiatives to accelerate the flow of products, such as Zer0% Waste Boxes and pink labels that focus on selling items close to the expiration date. These initiatives prevented approximately €23m from being wasted. Finally, to complement this initiative, MC donated around €31m in food products.



Endorsed by the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed

The global food system faces challenges of producing more food with limited resources and climate change impacts. Reducing food waste is crucial for resource efficiency and food security. European food industry players are actively working to minimize waste through partnerships. Guidelines provided by FoodDrinkEurope, EuroCommerce, and FEBA aim to help businesses anticipate and manage surpluses, fostering effective partnerships with food donation organizations. The focus is on donation to non-profit food partners, but other options may be used.

Continente joins Too Good to Go

Continente, Sonae’s food retailer branch, joined the food app with 41 of its stores and is the first Iberian retailer to join the Too Good To Go app’s “Observar, Cheirar, Provar” (Look, Smell, Taste) initiative, which aims to help consumers identify and better understand the shelf life of minimum durability products, by applying the respective seal on a selection of private label products. The user, when purchasing these Magic Boxes, always benefits from a 70% price re-duction compared to the value of the products in the store.

Mercadona’s dedication to giving back to society

Mercadona, a supermarket chain operating in both Spain and Portugal, along with an online retail presence, is deeply committed to giving back to society. Recognising the vital importance of protecting the environment and offering back to society, the company has developed a comprehensive Social Responsibility Plan encompassing various initiatives that underscore its dedication to the redistribution of food surplus. 
Mercadona donates daily food from its stores to over 650 social organisations across Spain and Portugal. These donations are not just a social action, but also a prevention strategy against food waste. In the current year alone, Mercadona has contributed over 10,500 tons of essential products, equivalent to more than 174,200 shopping carts. Furthermore, it has expanded its collaboration with social organisations by 140 entities in Spain and Portugal this year. 
To achieve this objective, Mercadona extends its human and logistical resources to various social entities, ensuring the delivery of products in accordance with the highest standards when social organisations do not have the capacity and ability to collect them independently.

Continente Producers Club platform to combat food waste

Feira do Desperdício, a Continente’s Producers Club initiative, is an exclusive platform that connects producers, industry, retail, and research to create new opportunities for the food production surplus. By bringing together supply and demand in one place, Feira do Desperdício fosters innovation of products and processes. Under the motto “Nothing is wasted, everything is transformed”, the platform can contribute to reducing food waste, creating value for all stakeholders, and supporting a more sustainable food system.

CONFIDA and Banco Alimentare formed an agreement to fight food waste

CONFIDA – Associazione Italiana Distribuzione Automatica (the Italian Association of Automatic Distribution), part of Confcommercio – Imprese per l’italia (the Italian General Confederation of Enterprises), and Fonazione Banco Alimentare Onlus share a common objective: to promote the recovery of surplus food generated within the vending industry to qualitatively improve food support for the people in need.

The initial phase of the agreement was a pilot project in 2021 in the Piedmont region. Thanks to this initiative, the CONFIDA territorial delegation managed to collect 20 tons of food and beverages, which were then donated to people and families in need through the Banco Alimentare.

In 2022, Massimo Trapletti, president of CONFIDA and Giovanni Bruno, President of the Banco Alimentare Onlus Foundation, on the occasion of VendItalia, the international exhibition of vending machines, signed an agreement that provides for the collection of food surpluses from the entire vending sector, with the intention of donating them through the territorial network of the Banco Alimentare.

The agreement involves more than 500 companies associated with CONFIDA, located throughout the national territory and grouped into 11 Territorial Delegations. These entities collaborate with regional offices of Banco Alimentare for the collection of surpluses. It is estimated that when fully operational, the sector could donate at least 250 tons of food annually.

Since 1989, Banco Alimentare has been recovering surpluses from the agri-food chain and redistributing them to 7,612 organisations that offer aid to almost 1,700,000 people and families facing difficulties. The activity is carried out by 21 territorial banks coordinated by Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus.

Too good for the bin

At the end of June 2023, the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir, signed the so-called Pact against food waste with the representatives of 14 wholesale and retail companies. This voluntary target agreement of wholesalers and retailers is part of Germany’s National Strategy to reduce food waste. The self-imposed goals are high: food waste in the retail sector is to be halved by the year 2030.

The German food retail sector is at the forefront of the fight against food waste. According to the data gathered by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the food trade accounts for only 7% of total food waste in Germany.  15% is generated by the food industry and 17% by out-of-home consumption. 59% is generated in private households. So far, the German food retail and the out-of-home consumption sector have made an agreement as part of the National Strategy.

In addition to the main goal of halving waste generation by the end of the decade, waste generation is to be reduced by as much as 30 per cent by 2025. In order to achieve this goal, a package of measures consisting of 40 instruments was agreed upon in the agreement, which the retail sector can and should use. This includes, among other things, food donations to charity organisations or social institutions. Another measure is to reuse or recycle food. Furthermore, ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables should be sold in a targeted manner in the future. Another option is to launch information campaigns to raise awareness, identify and address inefficiencies in the food supply chain, and generally promote collaboration among stakeholders. The German scientific Thünen Institute, which is linked to the Federal Ministry, accompanies the retail and wholesale trade within the pact, and reviews and monitors the progress of the individual companies.

Federdistribuzione, the Italian retail association, is committed to addressing the challenge of food waste

The federation plays a key role in raising awareness within retail companies and institutions regarding fighting food waste.

With this aim, Federdistribuzione has been a partner in a 3-year LIFE project, Food.Waste.StandUp, which involves for the first time, the entire supply chain for an intensive awareness-raising campaign targeted at agri-food SMEs, large retailers, consumers and local institutions, to promote food waste prevention and reduction, as well as increase donations.

Every February 5th, on the occasion of the National Food Waste Prevention Day, Federdistribuzione, in collaboration with its member companies, organises communication campaigns and takes part in events, which aim at informing the public about the importance of reducing food waste. Furthermore, in order to promote retailers’ commitments to sustainability to the public and institutions, Federdistribuzione publishes, every two years, its Sustainability Report that measures the progress made by retailers over the years to tackle food waste.

Federdistribuzione has also a fundamental role at institutional level, contributing to the debate and create the right – regulatory – context that rewards those business actors who adopt virtuous behavior in the recovery of surpluses. Moreover, the Italian retail association has proactively contributed to the drafting of the Italian law on food donations, the so called “Legge Gadda”, one of the most advanced pieces of law in Europe that simplifies the administrative process for food and non-food donations and provides VAT exemption on donations.

Federdistribuzione is currently engaged in active participation within the Ministry of Agriculture’s working groups on food waste. Our involvement encompasses discussions on various aspects, including food waste methodologies and improvements to the existing legislation.