SPAR partnerships tackle food waste issue

September 29, 2023 IN THE CATEGORY: Climate, Environment, Responsible retailing

On the International Day of Food Loss and Waste Awareness, we highlight how SPAR internationally is addressing the issue of food waste through partnerships. We put the spotlight on initiatives by SPAR Austria and SPAR Denmark to tackle food waste. The United Nations estimates that a staggering 17% of total food production is wasted in retail, households, and the food service industry, resulting in substantial losses of water, energy, and capital.

SPAR Austria

SPAR Austria uses multiple solutions to tackle food waste. From food donations and regional social organisations, to using artificial intelligence (AI) to obtain more accurate product demand predictions. Newly implemented IT tools analyse the data on sale volumes, weather conditions, and other factors to estimate optimal quantities of product orders in each store with an expected 90% of accuracy in predictions. The system is being trialed for fruit and vegetable ordering in SPAR Austria stores before expanding to other food groups. SPAR donate unsold surplus food through strong partnerships with local donation platforms. In 2022, these donation platforms received about 7,000 tonnes of food.

SPAR Denmark

SPAR Denmark is also exploring innovative IT solutions to minimize food waste in stores through partnering with Whywaste. The suite of digital tools helps track expiration dates, implement smart product discounting, and automatically inform consumers about great deals. SPAR donates surplus stocks to local organisations. Following positive results of trials in two stores, Whywaste tools are being implemented in all SPAR stores across Denmark. Retailers highlight that this successful partnership resulted in labour cost reduction, markdown revenue increase, and most importantly, a 30% reduction of food waste in stores.

SPAR International

Recognising that food waste reduction fits with the environmental and social values of the SPAR brand, SPAR International targets to halve food waste in our own operations by 2030. To achieve this goal, SPAR is strengthening partnerships to minimise food waste along the various steps of retail operations. By partnering with digital solution providers such as Whywaste and Gander, a higher operational efficiency can be achieved. This leads to lower levels of food waste due to better stock management. For the surplus product instore, end-of-life solutions are available through partnerships with apps such as Too Good to Go. The collaboration with such platforms resulted in substantial reduction of food waste, with 4,636,237 meals along with 11,590,593 kg CO2e saved through our partnership with social impact company Too Good to Go across 2,500 SPAR stores in 14 European countries.

Adopting different approaches and tools, SPAR continues to minimise food waste instore and raise customer awareness,extending the impact into households.

#FoodWasteEU, #FLWDay

Source: SPAR Austria, SPAR Denmark 

Read more about SPAR’s responsible retailing strategy.