After a successful trial in the north of England, the retailer has pledged to donate waste food – both fresh, including fruit and vegetables and ambient in tins and packets – from all its 500 plus stores to local community organisations beginning early next year.
Morrisons group corporate services director Andrew Clappen said: “We don’t like the idea of good food going to waste and this programme will ensure that we find a home for the small amount of unsold or used food in our stores.”
‘Ensure it gets eaten’
The retailer confirmed in a statement: “The small percentage of edible food in Morrisons stores that is wasted is currently used to produce energy rather than going to landfill. This initiative will ensure it gets eaten.”
The level of edible waste was already minimised through measures such as discounting food before its withdrawal from sale or using it in Morrisons’ own staff canteens.
One of the recipient organisations FoodCycle said Morrisons’ initiative will have big benefits for society’s most disadvantaged members. “We have 10 hubs close to Morrisons stores and we will be taking food from those stores,” said FoodCycle ceo Mary McGrath.
‘Loneliness, isolation and hunger’
“This will allow us to feed more people who are at risk of loneliness, isolation and hunger and we would urge other organisations to take part.”
The food giveaway scheme was tested earlier this year at more than 100 stores in Yorkshire and the North East.
Morrisons has also revealed plans to make sandwiches in store for the first time, as part of its bid to become the nation's new sandwich king. The move, designed to claim a bigger share of the UK’s £2.8bn sandwich market, will bring the business into direct competition with specialist food retailers Subway and EAT.
Morrisons – at a glance
- UK’s second biggest manufacturer of fresh food
- Runs 504 supermarkets
- Only British supermarket to run its own food processing sites and abattoirs
- Employs 6,000 crafts people, including butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers
- Over 11M customers each week
- Employs over 117,000 people