Retail food waste challenge begins

Retail food waste challenge: Search begins for innovators to turn the tide on wastage

The ECR Retail Loss Group – a network of more than 200 retailers from around the world – has kickstarted its annual search to find innovators that can reduce retail food waste.

Those designing innovations to prevent, re-use, or reduce retail food waste can now apply for the initiative, and the top 30 ideas will be shortlisted by representatives from 24 grocery retail businesses from across the globe.

Ten of those organisations will then be invited to pitch their retail food waste innovation to more than 50 of the world’s leading retailers at an ECR Retail Loss Group event on 30 November 2022.

Dubbed ‘The ECR Food Waste Innovation Challenge’, the scheme is managed by the ECR Retail Loss Group and implemented by innovation agency, Co:cubed.

Colin Peacock, group strategic coordinator at the ECR Retail Loss Group, said: “Retailers are constantly seeking to find new ways to prevent food waste.

“This brings together retailers and innovators from around the world. Today we throw away one-third of all the food we produce. The world simply can’t afford to continue this way. So, the retail industry is uniting to find breakthrough solutions.”

Jeremy Basset, CEO of Co:cubed, added: “Food waste continues to be one of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the retail industry today, and start-ups are pioneering solutions.

“This is an amazing opportunity for start-ups to engage with global retailers, and for retailers to engage with leading innovators in food waste. We’re excited to see the game-changing partnerships which will come from this programme.”

Previous winners of the challenge already making a difference in thousands of stores worldwide include Whywaste and Wasteless, which both featured in the 2019 version of the event. Since their pitches in Brussels that year, they have scaled their solutions significantly.

Whywaste, for example, has a presence in 20 countries worldwide working with some of the biggest brands in retail, including UK grocer Asda.

Commenting on the food waste in retail challenge, Ben Holden, international sales & marketing manager at Whywaste, said: “It’s a fantastic exposure event, providing direct access to the correct decision-makers.”

Applications for the ECR Food Waste Innovation Challenge 2022 are open until 29 July, and it is free to enter. The top 30 will be announced on 19 September.

Read more about retail food waste challenge on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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