Waitrose boosts efforts to help customers tackle food waste

Waitrose is boosting its efforts to help customers tackle food waste at home and in its supply chain and on farm through a number of initiatives.

Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership, recently announced two major food waste commitments; Waitrose aims to cut food waste across the supply chain by 50% by 2030; and to help halve UK household food waste by 2030 by supporting customers in their own efforts in the home.

To coincide with its support of WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week from today, Waitrose will focus on a number of initiatives to accelerate progress in this area.

Waitrose initiatives to drive down food waste in the business and at home:

  • Waitrose has teamed up with some of its biggest suppliers and food distribution organisation FareShare in a new trial to redirect surplus farm food to families in need. In total, five million surplus apples, crooked carrots, mushrooms and sweet baby sprouts will be redirected – aiming to create more than one million meals for vulnerable families across the UK. 
  • Waitrose is working with its suppliers to identify supply chain food waste hotspots and implement programmes of activity to address them. One example includes Waitrose supplier Worldwide Fruit who have undertaken a whole supply chain waste analysis of royal gala, jazz and braeburn apples to understand where food is wasted. The process has already enabled Worldwide Fruit to divert three tonnes of surplus apples to charity.
  • Waitrose is collaborating with suppliers to host online cooking demonstrations using surplus ingredients. In November 2020, Waitrose worked with Alpro and Fareshare to  film simple, yet nutritious recipe demonstrations for their community chefs.  
  • This week, Waitrose has launched new dedicated food waste pages on its website offering hints and tips on reducing food waste, including zero waste recipes and using up leftovers.  Waitrose also produced a podcast as part of its ‘Life on A Plate’ series where Waitrose Food Editor Alison Oakervee and restaurant critic, writer and editor Jimi Famurewa, chat with Nadia Hussein about her views on food waste and tips for reducing food waste at home.
  • Waitrose continues to work with  FareShare, a charity dedicated to fighting hunger and reducing food waste across the UK. Waitrose works with Fareshare to link its shops with local good causes who collect surplus food for people in need. Any stores with leftover food can scan and upload products using the FareShare app.  This is then collected by local charities. So far, over 4 million meals have been donated from Waitrose shops and distribution centres.  
  • Waitrose sells its essential ‘A Little Less than Perfect’ range of fruit and vegetables to avoid food waste on farms. They may look unusual but they are grown to Waitrose’s usual high standards and always taste delicious.
  • Waitrose always buys whole animals from trusted farmers so that no fresh meat goes to waste. The Waitrose ‘Forgotten Cuts’ range encourages customers to be more adventurous when choosing meat. Lesser known cuts like pigs’ cheeks, beef short ribs or lamb liver might take a little longer to cook but are just as delicious. 
  • Waitrose is working with a number of brands and suppliers who use food surplus from farms in their products, including: Toast Ale, Rubies in the Rubble and DA-SH.
  • Waitrose will continue to offer Partners and customers items at a reduced price when they are nearing their use by date.