2018 data shows an increase in surplus food donated to charity

Asda has today published its food waste and surplus data for 2018, showing an increase in the amount of food donated to charity of 26% on the previous year.

As part of Asda’s Fight Hunger Create Change programme, the supermarket launched a store food donations programme which enables stores to donate no longer sellable but still edible food to charity. By the end of 2020 all Asda stores will be able to donate edible surplus food. This, along with Asda’s existing food donation schemes – such as from its distribution centres – resulted in 2.7m meals being donated to good causes in 2018.

The £20m charitable partnership between Asda, food redistribution charity FareShare and anti-poverty charity the Trussell Trust, also sees Asda invest in building FareShare’s infrastructure so that more surplus food, from all retailers and brands, is able to be diverted to good causes.

Asda has committed to reducing food waste by 20% by 2025, halve it by 2030 and increase transparency around food waste. As the first time it has publicly reported its figures, the supermarket takes a significant step towards ensuring customers are able to monitor Asda’s progress.

At its supplier conference last week, Asda encouraged all own label and the top 150 branded suppliers to join them in targeting, measuring and acting to reduce food waste, and redistributing surplus where it does occur.

Karen Todd, Senior Manager – Zero Waste at Asda, said: “Tackling food waste has to be a collaborative effort and we’ve been working hard, in partnership with our suppliers, colleagues and our customers, to meet our commitments to halve food waste by 2030 and make a positive difference to our communities. We think it’s really important that we share our food waste data publicly to allow others to understand our progress and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to increase the amount of food reaching good causes.”

Dr David Moon, Head of Business Collaboration, WRAP said: “Measuring food waste is fundamental to understanding why it occurs and identifying the priority actions to effectively reduce it. Taking action to publicly report for the first time demonstrates Asda’s long-term focus on tackling food waste in an efficient and transparent manner. As a Courtauld 2025 signatory (as well as being committed to the UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap), Asda’s pledge to ‘Target, Measure, Act’ in collaboration with suppliers is a good indication of further progress that will be made.”

The figures show that of Asda’s product categories, fruit and vegetables form nearly a quarter (23%) of all surplus food. Asda recently announced that it was trialling a new solution – Apeel – that adds an extra, natural barrier to fresh produce and could double or triple the shelf life, helping to reduce waste.

Other initiatives include:

Being the first retailer to introduce reduced to clear labels for products approaching the end of their shelf life.

Relaxing standards around size, shape and cosmetic appearance for main lines, to ensure even more product ends up on shelves.

Working with suppliers through the Asda Sustain and Save Exchange (SSE) network, which allows suppliers to share best practice with the guarantee that they will be able to keep any savings made.

Find out more about our work to tackle food waste here.