Polish retailer Biedronka donated food worth more than PLN 130 million (€28.4 million) in 2020 to over 100 charitable organisations in the country.
In 2020, around 18,500 tonnes of food were donated to public benefit organisations under the Act on preventing food waste, according to a report from the General Inspector of Environmental Protection.
Out of this total, as much as 12,400 thousand tonnes, or almost 70% of the food reported by the NGOs, came from Biedronka.
The retailer started building a system to transfer unsold food to NGOs as early as 2016 as part of its commitment to reduce food waste across its network.
In 2020, around 2,000 Biedronka stores participated in the programme with 2,500 employees of the organisation and volunteers.
The food was distributed among deprived people, eateries and canteens, in the form of wholesome packages and meals but with a short expiry date or damaged packaging.
Biedronka estimates that in 2020 the food she provided was equivalent to 24.8 million meals, assuming that one meal weighed 0.5 kilograms.
The retailer chain reported sales growth of 10.4% in local currency last year, as it navigated an 'unprecedentedly challenging' year.
'Key Areas Of Non-Business Activities'
Sylwia Krzyżycka, director of the environmental protection department in the Biedronka network, said, "I am glad that our programme, which has been built over the years, can contribute to improving the fate of the most needy.
"I know that this action is also very important for our employees because it helps us all remember that in life it is also important to help others and take care of the environment, and for Biedronka, it is one of the key areas of non-business activities."
At the end of September this year, Biedronka launched the 'Together against waste' programme – the second edition of its Dobra Torba campaign.
As part of the campaign, special paper bags supporting Food Banks were introduced in Biedronka stores. The retailer forwards PLN 0.20 from the sale of each of these bags to Food Banks.
This year's campaign also has an additional goal - preventing food waste and, therefore, a special educational campaign, the retailer added.