“As a responsible company, we want to minimize the adverse effects of our operations, ensure the rights of employees in our supply chain, and maintain strong, reliable partnerships. We are committed to making products from sustainable sources accessible and affordable to all. We take our social responsibility seriously and believe that as one of the world’s largest food retailers, we need to participate in the global fight against food waste. That is why we are committed to help halving food waste from farm to fork by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG 12.3).”
Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges
Cut back on food waste
What´s the solution?
In our 201 stores around 2.5 million people shop every week – serving that many customers also requires a significant amount of stock. Therefore, due to our profile, food surpluses inevitably arise during our operation. Our goal is therefore twofold: to reduce the amount of food waste and surplus generated, and to donate as much of the surplus as possible to charities. Our best response to managing surplus is our food surplus donation programme, in which our colleagues at participating stores collect and sort food that is no longer for sale but is still perfectly fit for human consumption at the end of each business day. The staff collects and controls the quality of bakery goods, vegetables and fruits and prepares them for those in need.
To prevent food waste, we are constantly optimizing our range to suit customer habits. We have launched our “ugly” fruit and vegetable range (Perfectly Imperfect) to also help our suppliers prevent waste. We also review our inventories with loss prevention systems that can effectively prevent food waste. The resulting business benefit is a reduction in waste management costs and an improved perception of the company by employees and customers.
In Hungary, between September 2014 and April 2020, we handed over a total of 26,300 tons of food for donations. This amount corresponds to more than 65 million meals. The food surplus donation programme is currently (May 2020) operating in more than 180 Hungarian stores. In addition to quantitative data, the programme has an impact on the colleagues’ attitudes, identification with the programme, and develops culture and engagement.