Last Refreshed: 7/31/2021 9:13:35 AM
Last Refreshed: 7/31/2021 9:13:35 AM

Wasting less and recycling more is crucial to protecting natural resources and improving food security. How do we drive down food waste in our operations and support those in need?

Every year, around one third of all food produced for human consumption globally is lost or wasted at a monetary value of $1 trillion! The cost of this goes beyond edible food to include a significant waste of energy, water and emissions that are needed to grow the food.

Food loss and waste negatively impacts food security worldwide, and fuels climate change. To build a well-nourished and sustainable society, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on sustainable consumption and production calls for cutting retail and consumer food waste in half, as well as reducing food losses along production and supply chains, by 2030.

What we are doing

We aim to contribute to a food system that ensures everyone has access to nutritious food for generations to come. We continuously review our operational processes to reduce food waste, and we divert unsold food to relieve hunger in our communities. It is part of making good on our promise to be a better neighbor.

We have a three-pronged approach to driving down food waste. First, we reduce food waste across our operations, including stores, warehouses and transport. Ongoing actions include: smarter product ordering and supply management, providing storage guidance on food packaging, discounting perishable products that are reaching end-of-shelf-life as well as ‘imperfect’ vegetables, and raising associate awareness.

Secondly, we divert surplus food to food banks and charities and to innovative operations such as restaurants that cook with unsold food.

And thirdly, we divert food no longer suitable for human consumption to other recycling methods, to prevent it from going to landfill. These methods can include animal feed production, green energy facilities or industrial uses.

In 2020, we measured the food waste and where it went, across all Ahold Delhaize companies:

  • We recycled 75% of our food waste.
  • We reduced our food waste by 16% compared to our 2016 baseline.

In September 2019, we announced to extend our food waste commitment to cut food waste in the brands’ operations. The reduction is in line with the global Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.  It will also initiate partnerships with our suppliers to further reduce food waste. Supporting this commitment, Ahold Delhaize has joined the World Resources Institute’s ‘10x20x30’ initiative, which brings together 10 global food retailers that will each engage with 20 of their priority suppliers to halve their rates of food loss and waste by 2030. Click here for more information on this announcement.

Our brands' efforts

Preventing food waste in stores

Preventing food waste in stores: expiration dates make sure our products are safe to consume. To make sure we sell all our products before they expire, our brands use various discount systems to encourage customers to help us prevent them from going to waste.

  • Albert Heijn is using dynamic discounting, which automatically discounts products based on shelf life the shorter the shelf life, the higher the discount.
  • Albert uses the “Help Us Not To Waste” discount stickers on selected foods that are approaching the expiration date Another activity is a 50 discount on pastries, which is always announced 2 hours before the close of the store.
  • The GIANT Company partnered with Flashfood app to launch a discount program. Customers can use the app to check the availability of fresh food nearing its best before date. This includes produce, meat, deli and bakery products, which are offered at significantly reduced prices.

Reducing food waste across operations

In operations across our brands we can reduce waste by using more parts of  the products we source, redirect surplus food to edible products and use innovative systems to keep food fresh for longer.

  • Food Lion has set up The Ice Cream Diversion Program to reduce food waste. The program was rolled out in October 2019 and has been very successful, saving 7% in disposal costs in its first quarter.  Before good ice cream with damaged cartons was thrown away. Now ice cream containers that are still complete and in good condition are saved and sent to retail stores. Only ice cream that’s been compromised is sent off for disposal.
  • Delhaize Belgium has introduced a new in store temperature monitoring system, which will help cut down shrinkage and food waste. The new system is digitally operated, which means that temperature of our frozen and fresh food can be centrally monitored 24/7

Diverting surplus food to food banks and charities

Our brands divert surplus food to food banks, charities and innovative operations such as restaurants that cook with unsold food.

  • In February 2021 the first digital platform for food donations in Serbia, titled “Plate by Plate” (www.tanjirpotanjir.rs) has been launched. Thanks to the collaboration between Delhaize Serbia and the United Nations Development Programme.
  • In May 2020, Stop Shop donated 16 tons of food to its regional food bank partner Feeding Westchester to help local families impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • During the COVID 19 pandemic, Hannaford used its network to put local farmers and food producers in direct contact with food banks, supporting food waste reduction and improving food security.
  • Super Indo has expanded its waste recycling program. The #ZeroLandfill program aims to prevent sending organic waste to landfill It’s a partnership with local food banks, non profits and businesses including the FoodBank of Indonesia. 
  • Following its commitment to reduce food waste by 50% by 2025 Alfa Beta created the first ‘Alliance for the Reduction of Food Waste’ in Greece Today, it counts over 45 members and is endorsed by the by the Ministry of the Environment.