Belgian retailer Delhaize has pledged to redistribute at least half of all its unsold food to people in need by 2020.
The retailer, part of the Ahold Delhaize group, said that reducing food waste has been high on its agenda for over a quarter of a century. It said it has donated seven million meals from unsold food products over the past five years.
The company said that it works with about 200 food banks and other charitable associations in Belgium and Luxembourg. Some 144,000 Belgians turned to food banks for assistance last year and 15% of the population live below the poverty line.
'In 2012, Delhaize became the first retailer in Belgium to donate fresh products – such as fruits, vegetables and bread – along with dry goods,' the retailer said.
'The project is already being used in nearly all 130 Delhaize supermarkets as well as in its distribution centres. Further, over 400 of the independent Delhaize stores (AD Delhaize and Proxy Delhaize) have similar initiatives.'
Delhaize Belgium’s local strategy is in support of its parent company Ahold Delhaize ‘Better Together’ framework, which encourages more fresh, local and sustainable retail.
This framework was introduced in October 2016 and the company said it will be shared broadly by the brans with all associates in 2017.
The pledge to redistribute 50% of unsold food by 2020 came about during a celebration of Delhaize Belgium’s progress in minimising food waste, together with the company’s associates, business partners, and volunteers.
Last month, parent company Ahold Delhaize signed a letter along with 22 major international companies such as Carrefour, Nestlé, and Walmart supporting the 'Cerrado Manifesto', which aims to end agricultural deforestation in a region of Brazil.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.