It has been estimated that we waste 300 Million tons of food a year. This seems almost criminal when you consider that there are many people in the world who are literally starving to death. In part this has come about due to certain foods not meeting the exacting aesthetic standards that the modern consumer now expects. Supermarkets won’t buy ‘Ugly’ fruit and vegetables, for risk of not being able to sell them…Until now that is.
As the European Union made 2014 the year against food waste, @intermarche , the third largest supermarket chain in France decided to rehabilitate the non- calibrated and imperfect fruit and vegetables by launching les fruits & legumés moches otherwise known as the inglorious fruits and vegetables.
This initiative involved taking the unapproved and deformed fruit and vegetables and selling them at a price 30% cheaper.
Intermarché bought the fruits and vegetables their growers threw away and sold then in store where they had their own isle and separate labelling.
For the public to realise that the quality was just as good as the others they designed and distributed inglorious vegetable soup and fruit juices. The fruit and vegetable proved to be an immediate success having been sold out and accounting for 1.2 times the average sale per store during the first two days including 24% overall stock traffic.
The initiative drastically increased the awareness surrounding food waste and also encouraged talks between members of food networks.
Inglorious fruits and vegetables reached an astounding 13 million people after one month and in addition had a significant impact in the media.
It has been suggested by journalists that every supermarket should adopt the exact same approach.
Inglorious fruits and vegetables proved to be a glorious fight against food waste.
Britain and food waste
According to a report by WRAP the average UK family is wasting nearly £60 a month by throwing away almost an entire meal a day, according to a new report that reveals the scale of the ongoing challenge to reduce household food waste.
Britons are chucking out the equivalent of 24 meals a month, adding up to 4.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year that could have been consumed. Almost half of this is going straight from fridges or cupboards into the bin. One-fifth of what households buy ends up as waste, and around 60% of that could have been eaten.
There has been no progress in reducing meat and fish wastage, with Britons still throwing away the equivalent of 86 million chickens every year. The top three foods being thrown away uneaten in British homes are bread, potatoes and milk. The equivalent of 24m slices of bread, 5.8m potatoes and 5.9m glasses of milk are being wasted daily, while even cakes and pastries make it into the top 10 most wasted items.
The study by the government’s waste advisory body, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap), shows that since 2007, avoidable household food waste has been cut by 21% to 4.2m tonnes, saving consumers almost £13bn.
Wrap said that such waste should be cut a further 1.7m tonnes a year by 2025, saving up to £45bn. Its chief executive, Dr Liz Goodwin, called on retailers, manufacturers, governments and consumers to agree to a “major combined effort”.
“Consumers are seriously worried about the cost of food and how it has increased over recent years. Yet as Wrap’s research shows, we are still wasting millions of tonnes and billions of pounds,”
The main reasons for the waste are shoppers buying more than they need, lack of clarity around storage and labelling and over-estimating portions, Wrap said. The carbon associated with avoidable household food waste is equivalent to taking one in four cars off UK roads.
Intermarché’s approach to reducing food waste should serve as an example to all large supermarkets that by simply not discarding of fruits and because of their shape or form, a significant contribution can be made towards reducing current food waste statistics.
GPT Waste, the largest UK independent provider of waste management solutions and sustainable waste services. They continually demonstrate operational efficiency as well as financial savings via their innovative approach to waste management systems and routes to processes.
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