Portuguese retailer Continente has introduced five-kilogram boxes of fruit and vegetables that are close to their optimum consumption point at €0.50 € per kilogram.
The 'Zer0% Desperdício' boxes aim to reduce food waste by selling soon-to-expire fresh produce at a discounted rate.
'Set An Example'
Pedro Lago, director of sustainability projects at Sonae MC, said, “Continente, as a retailer, has a fundamental role in combating food waste, helping to set an example and encourage consumers, employees and suppliers to take an active role in this work. which is everyone's responsibility.”
Presently, the boxes are available in 29 Continente stores in the fresh produce section.
The retailer is planning to roll out these boxes in more stores with the aim to reduce wastage in the category by 25 tonnes each year.
The fruit and vegetables in these boxes are suitable for consumption and meet the quality and freshness standards, Continente added.
The retailer is also converting the leftovers from PGI apples and pears into dehydrated fruit snacks and juices.
It is donating food surplus from its stores on a daily basis to social institutions and organisations that support animals.
In 2019, the retailer donated surplus food worth €12 million to more than 1,013 institutions across Portugal.
Continente also offers sweets and chutneys made from fruit and vegetables that have surpassed their commercial validity.
Other products in this category include bread beer and Panana - a cake made with pulp from unsold bananas.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, more than half of the fruits and vegetables offered for sale are wasted each year, along the entire value chain and in the consumers’ homes.