Online Supermarket Ocado Reduces Food Waste To 0.02%
Online grocer Ocado has published its food waste figures for the first time, revealing that 0.02%, or 1 in 6,000, of its food products go to waste.
The UK-based retailer says that it is trying to find ways to reduce food waste in its supply chain, as well as in customers' homes.
“Our business model is built around efficiency and low waste," said Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at Ocado.
"By continually improving our technology, processes, and our relationships with suppliers, we’ve been able to reduce our food waste to practically zero – I believe we have the lowest total food waste figures in our industry."
In an effort to reduce food waste, Ocado says that it is trying to create shorter supply chains, with controlled temperatures, forecasting software, and suitable packaging.
“Fresh products like meat or bakery items have a very short shelf life," said Danny Kelly, supply chain operations manager at Ocado.
“By testing and tweaking the packaging on our mince for example, we’ve been able to promise customers an extra two days of shelf life in their fridge. By giving customers extra time on over 4,500 products, we hope to help them reduce food waste at home.”
In addition, Ocado's strategy involves redistributing surplus food while it's still edible, and last year, the company redistributed 2,200 tonnes of food across the UK.
The issue of food waste is being tackled by many grocers in the UK, with Tesco, the county's biggest retailer, introducing a number of initiatives to ensure that no food fit for human consumption is passed as waste.
However, according to food waste charity WRAP, 7.3 million tonnes of food is still wasted every year from UK homes.
“At home, one of the main reasons for binning food is that we don’t use it in time," said Helen White, special advisor on household food waste at WRAP.
“Ocado’s approach to driving down food waste in their supply chain has resulted in impressively low food waste figures. By guaranteeing product life, providing customers with clear information and using innovative packaging solutions they are helping us all to do our bit to drive down food waste too."
Since launching in 2000, Ocado has grown to become the UK's largest online-only supermarket. In 2017, the group posted revenue of £1.46 billion, representing growth of 12.7% year on year.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.