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Waitrose Extends Surplus Food Distribution Platform

Published on Apr 25 2018 8:29 AM in Technology tagged: UK / Waitrose / FoodCloud / FareShare / surplus food

Waitrose Extends Surplus Food Distribution Platform

UK retailer Waitrose has announced that it is extending its surplus food redistribution platform to all of its full-size supermarkets by the end of the year.

The food redistribution technology is supported by the charity FareShare and powered by the Irish IT platform FoodCloud.

The collaboration makes it easier for Waitrose branches to let local charities know about surplus goods.

“This is a big step towards ensuring that all edible surplus food is consumed and doesn’t go to waste,” said Mark Gifford, director of shop trading.

“Our shops across the country will be able to communicate better with local groups via FareShare Go,” Gifford added. “This, as well as our funding support, will help boost their support for vulnerable people.”

Smart Charities

Shops simply input details of available food into an app and connected charities receive a text alert of which items are ready for collection.

This builds on relationships that Waitrose branches already have with local groups, as well as recruiting new ones, with the technology making the process even simpler and quicker, according to the retailer.

Waitrose’s ‘Community Matters’ scheme will also offer funds through its green tokens to groups that collect surplus food.

Charities can use the retailer’s funding to buy kitchen equipment and storage. This support will be extended to all branches with the roll-out of FareShare Go.

Lunch Clubs To Resource Centres

“Our surplus food is benefitting a wider range of people, from an elderly people’s lunch club to a resource centre which helps young people,” said Steve Lee, branch manager at Waitrose Sherborne. “We’re really excited that a local farm which helps young people will be using our funds to rebuild their kitchen and make even greater use of our donated food.”

FareShare was established as a food redistribution charity over 20 years ago. It provides a range of services including a support team to recruit and audit charities and community groups to the FareShare Go model.

The team ensures that only groups that can safely collect, store and prepare food are linked with a local shop. This guarantees that all Waitrose surplus food will go to organisations properly equipped to provide meals to vulnerable communities.

Successful Trial

Since launching the trial in 2017 in 25 shops, an equivalent of nearly 70,000 meals have been donated to over 100 charities, according to the retailer.

As of 16 April, four shops in Jersey and Guernsey joined the existing 25 shops, and by the end of the year, the retailer aims to extend it to 300 Waitrose shops.

“We’re delighted that plans are in place to extend the FareShare Go programme across Waitrose’s retail estate,” said Alyson Walsh, FareShare commercial director. “The addition of new branches to our scheme will increase the variety of food available to our local charities, as well as their collections. This is a very exciting and welcome roll-out, continuing our fruitful partnership.”

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Kevin Duggan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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