Let’s stop food waste


(NC) While most would agree that wasting food is both irresponsible and uncharitable, many don’t realize that food waste also has a significant impact on our environment and economy.

For example, did you know that when food isn’t properly composted and decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide?

In Canada alone, close to 60 per cent of all the food produced is lost or wasted every year, and it’s estimated that grocery stores are directly responsible for 1.31 million tonnes of food waste annually.

In an age of information and activism, customers are using their purchasing power to drive the change they want to see in the world, adapting their shopping habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment and improve outcomes for their communities.

Unable to ignore the realities of food waste anymore and recognizing the significant role they have traditionally played in perpetuating the problem, many grocery stores have started setting ambitious food waste reduction targets, using technology and innovative thinking to reach their ambitious goals.

Among those is Canada’s largest food retailer, Loblaws Companies Ltd. In 2017 the company saw an opportunity to fight against food waste. Committing to aggressively cut food waste across its retail operations by 50 per cent by the year 2025, the company surpassed its goal five years ahead of schedule, reducing food waste sent to landfill by 86 per cent in late 2020. The company has now committed to working with key suppliers to help them halve their own food waste by 2030.

Loblaw credits a number of initiatives, updated business practices and key partnership with their success:

Flashfood

Through a partnership with Flashfood, food nearing its best before date is sold for up to 50 per cent off the regular retail price. Customers can save money while helping eliminate food waste.

Bakery waste

Expired and damaged bakery items no longer fit for human consumption are converted into animal feed for use at local farms. In 2020, through this program more than 4.2 million kilograms of bakery food waste were diverted from nearly 140 grocery stores in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Store and supply chain efficiencies

The company invested in sophisticated inventory systems to improve procurement practices and forecast planning, as well as data-tracking tools in store to analyze product lifecycles. Through these systems, they can ensure the right amount of food is ordered or prepared to reduce waste, and to shorten supply chains to help keep food fresher for longer.

Learn more at loblaw.ca/csr.


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