Central England Co-op store sign

A Lichfield retailer has hailed the success of its efforts to reduce food waste.

Central England Co-op said it had seen levels drop by 40% over the past three years.

In 2017, the company’s stores were recording 2,445 tonnes of food waste – but by 2020, it had dropped to 1,085 tonnes.

The retailer has worked with food redistribution organisation FareShare Midlands on a scheme which ensures all best before products are handed out to local good causes rather than being binned.

Luke Olly, energy and environment lead at Central England Co-op, said:

“We are proud that our hard work to reduce food waste has had such an impact over the past three years.

“This has been delivered through ongoing improvements in ordering processes and the roll out of our FareShare Midlands redistribution process.

“We backhaul items to one central location which enables our partner to offer the food for free, with beneficiaries able to pre-order amounts and categories dependant on their needs.

“We continue to refine and improve our current processes as well as looking at rolling out new ones to ensure we carry on with our efforts to continue to reduce our levels of food waste, something that is vitally important as a responsible retailer.”

Luke Olly, Central England Co-op

The figures come after it was revealed that more than two million meals had been redistributed by the partnership with Fareshare Midlands during the pandemic.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op’s corporate responsibility manager, said:

“We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with FareShare Midlands and the life-changing impact we have been able to have over the past few years of working together.

“The reach and impact that these donations will have is further proof of the value of continuing to work together to help those in need during the summer months and beyond.”

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op

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