Woolworths has introduced food waste diversion programs at each one of its stores in a bid to help tackle Australia’s $20 billion food waste problem.
The supermarket which has reported an average year-on-year reduction of 8 per cent in food waste sent to landfill over the past three years, has pledged to reduce that amount further through these programs.
“Food is meant to be eaten, not thrown – which is why together with our customers, our farmers and our community partners, we’re working to keep good food out of landfill,” Woolworths head of Sustainability, Adrian Cullen said.
“This is not a new journey for us – we’ve been working hard at this for the last decade and we are excited to hit a milestone ahead of World Environment Day that 100 per cent of our stores now with a food waste diversion program in place.”
The supermarket sends surplus fresh foods to hunger relief charity partners, to farmers for stock feed or for commercial organic composting.
“We heavily invested in our team members to ensure that they have the education, training, resources and equipment to better identify and divert surplus food that can no longer be sold away from landfill and toward the most beneficial stream – be it food rescue for hunger relief, farmer donations for animal feed or commercial composting.”
Woolworths’ food waste diversion partners OzHarvest, Foodbank and Fareshare have helped divert more than 55,000 tonnes of food from the landfill.
The supermarket’s Woolworths Stock Feed for Farmers program has added 750 farmers and community organisations since it launched a decade ago. Last year farmers received over 32,000 tonnes of surplus food from the supermarket.