Reducing food waste
We hope all our food gets eaten – whether that’s by our customers, Partners or those in need in our local communities. We work hard to predict how much food we will need and constantly monitor buying levels to ensure the products on our shelves are those that customers want.
Surplus food donated to those in need
In 2017, we formed a partnership with FareShare, a charity dedicated to fighting hunger and reducing food waste across the UK. Any of our stores with leftover food can scan and upload products using the FareShare app. This is then collected by local charities which turn it into meals for those in need. Any other unsold good food is often sent to Company Shop Group, the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food.
FareShare donations tracker (since March 2017):
Her job, our promise
From tackling food waste to reducing plastic, our Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Tor Harris ensures we do the right thing.
'We know the impact of plastics on our environment is a serious concern for both Partners and our customers. That’s why we’re leading a journey of change with Partners Against Waste, our pledge to a waste-free future' — Tor Harris, Partner & Head of CSR
Here's to the wonky ones
We’re aware that many unused fresh fruit and vegetables often end up in the waste bin. That's why our essential Waitrose 'A Little Less Than Perfect' range of fruit and veg may look unusual, but it’s grown to our usual high standards and always tastes delicious.
We’re also working with suppliers to find creative ways to turn their fruit and vegetable by-products into new creative packaging solutions.
For example, using tomato leaves to create punnets for our Duchy tomatoes and gluten-free pasta boxes which are partly made from waste peas and lentils.
Forgotten cuts in fashion
We always buy whole animals from trusted farmers so that none of our fresh meat goes to waste. That’s why we pioneered our great value, great tasting ‘Forgotten Cuts’ range which encourages customers to be more adventurous when choosing meat. Lesser known cuts like pigs’ cheeks, beef short ribs or lambs liver might take a little longer to cook but are just as delicious. In purchasing forgotten cuts, this supports our commitment to buying whole carcasses from livestock farmers.
Meanwhile, through the pioneering Cattle Connect scheme, all bull calves in our dairy herds provide ethical beef and veal for Waitrose & Partners stores.
We're helping tackle food waste at home
We are committed to helping our customers tackle food waste at home. Our dedicated 'LiveWise' section is packed with environmentally friendly tips, recipes and leftovers ideas as well as more than 100 clever kitchen hacks to help make sure food that’s still fit to eat is never wasted.
We're working together with others in the food industry
Waste is a problem throughout the whole food supply chain. That’s why we’re working with others in the business to tackle it. In 2018 we were among the first supermarkets to adopt the new industry-wide Food Waste Reduction Roadmap devised by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to help food businesses target food waste.
We also signed up to the voluntary Courtauld Agreement, which aims to reduce food waste by at least a fifth by 2025 – a target we're hoping to go above and beyond.
To see our food waste figures in full, please read the latest John Lewis Partnership Corporate Responsibility report.