Residual stock disposals rise as waste is cut

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Industry

Company Shop's new Tankersley store was set up to meet rising demand
Company Shop's new Tankersley store was set up to meet rising demand
A company that sells residual stock from major food manufacturers to people who work in the food industry will record a 66% rise in the volume of goods it handles this year as food manufacturers increasingly seek to cut disposal costs and eliminate waste.

Company Shop, which operates factory shops at major manufacturing sites including United Biscuits, Premier Foods and Nestlé, as well as at two of its own stores, in Tankersley, South Yorkshire and Corby, Northamptonshire, will handle 25,000t of goods this year, compared with 15,000t in 2011.

Speaking at the opening of the new 1,300m2 Tankersley store, Company Shop md Mark Game said there was vast potential for further expansion as food companies sought to keep goods "high up the food waste hierarchy"​, as opposed to sending them for anaerobic digestion or to landfill.

"The increase we have recorded this year is because we have increased capacity. As we continue to do this, the numbers will rise again. There is a lot more business out there, especially because of the current economic climate where manufacturers are increasingly looking to reduce waste,"​ he said.

Company shop

Game said it was difficult to put an exact number on the volume of food that could be sold on or donated to charity something Company Shop also facilitates, largely in the Yorkshire area.

"Everyone is struggling to put an exact figure on it, because no-one likes to report how much food is wasted. However, wherever we go and whomever we approach, we always find that there is a role for us,"​ he added.

Game said that its stores were open only to 'members' either employees from the food manufacturing industries or the emergency services. This ensured customers understood how surpluses were created, while maintaining brand integrity for manufacturers and retailers, he said.

Looking ahead, Game said further expansion was on the cards for 2013.

Own stores

"We are already looking at a site for another of our own stores in Grimsby and several other locations, which haven't been finalised yet, for next year.

"These are likely to be in food manufacturing towns, across the UK, because we want to reduce the number of food miles the goods travel,"​ he added.

Elsewhere, the charity FareShare has called on manufacturers to donate surplus stock to its cause.

Chief executive Lindsey Boswell said: "An unprecedented number of people are going hungry across the country. We also know that around 3Mt of food is wasted every year in the UK. If just 1% of that waste was fit for human consumption and redistributed to FareShare, we could provide an incredible 70M meals to those who need it most.​"

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