Following six months of discussions, Carrefour have signed the French Ministry of Agriculture's 'National Pact To Combat Food Waste'.
The French retailer's move comes as part of a wider State initiative to cut food waste in French households, with supermarkets soon to be permitted to leave food and drink items on shelves for longer, along with the introduction of a new food label, which will assert that products should be 'preferably' consumed before a designated date. It will also become easier for large companies to donate food to charitable organisations under the new legislation.
While Foods and Agriculture Minister Guillaume Garot asserted that the plan will target every point in the food supply chain, from field to plate, via the nation's supermarkets, Carrefour already implements a waste reduction programme in 11 of the countries in which it operates, including France, and has signed the 'Retail Agreement on Waste' at a European level.
Carrefour have set up a special waste prevention website, www.anti-gaspillage.carrefour.fr, to keep consumers up to date with waste reduction initiatives, and have launched a new type of consumer promotion, which will allow customers to receive discounts on single items as well on multiple purchases. The French retailer also launched an in-house campaign to raise awareness of waste amongst employees, with rewards offered for the best ideas for waste prevention. Somewhat more radically, Carrefour have also initiated tests on the best-before-dates of certain products.
The Group is also the leading private donor to food banks in France, delivering the equivalent of 83 million meals during 2012 and supplying refrigerated lorries and cold stores to food bank organizations.
In conjunction with ANDES (French National Association for the Development of Social Grocery Stores) and the SEB Group, Carrefour plan to launch smoothie and soup bars which will utilize unsold fruit and vegetables. The smoothie and soup bars will be launched before the end of the year in a small number of pilot stores in the Île-de-France region. (17 June)
© 2013 - ESM: European Supermarket Magazine by Ellen Lunney