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Retail

Dansk Supermarked Group Targets Food Waste

Denmark's Dansk Supermarked Group has set itself a goal of halving its food waste by 2030.

The group hopes that by going public with its food waste figures, it will create momentum for tackling this issue not just in its stores, but at an industry level. Between 2015 and 2016, it managed to reduce the figure by 5%.

The group reports that every year more than 700,000 tonnes of food are thrown out in Denmark. Although households account for the largest share, there is also a considerable food waste in the grocery trade.

The group's retailer Netto was the first Danish chain to openly publish its statistics on food waste, which the group claims has put the issue on the agenda. The group's chains Bilka and føtex have followed suit.

Overall, the group discarded 33,400 tonnes of food last year, with Netto, its largest chain, accounting for over half of this figure.

"Of all the food we buy in a year, we waste 2.5%. After all, it is a relatively small part that is not being sold. Still, 33,400 tonnes is a huge amount of food waste, and we are not satisfied with that," said the group's director of corporate responsibility, Mads Hvitved Grand.

Alternative Use

Dansk Supermarked Group has put in place a strategy to ensure that food that is not sold is either donated or used for animal feed or for making biogas.

Netto, in partnership with Danish non-profit food bank FoedevareBanken, has developed an app where shop employees and customers can draw attention to where goods have been shipped close to shelf life. The app has been downloaded 125,000 times and can be used by anyone in the grocery industry.

"A halving will be a major challenge, and we will need new ideas, new processes and probably new technology [...] This problem must be solved jointly," said Mads Hvitved Grand.

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Gavin Ryan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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