Frozen food supermarket chain Iceland has launched a partnership with sharing app, OLIO, to help tackle food waste.
Surplus food from Iceland’s operations will now be redistributed among UK communities via OLIO’s network of ‘food waste heroes’.
OLIO has trained 50,000 volunteers as food waste heroes, who visit partner businesses to collect surplus food, take it home, and upload to the OLIO app, ready for it to be collected by those living nearby. Iceland food nearing its end of shelf life is now part of that network.
Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, said: “Reducing food waste continues to remain a high priority for Iceland and one that our new partnership with OLIO will support.
“However, this partnership will also provide access to free food across the UK at a time when the cost of living continues to increase. We are proud to team with OLIO and hope that Iceland customers see the benefit.”
Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of OLIO, added: “We’ve always shouted about freezing food as a way to fight food waste, and we hope this partnership with Iceland will be the beginning of more awareness raising about how your freezer can help the planet and your pocket.
“Fighting food waste is crucial in protecting the future of our planet and this partnership with Iceland will not only mean that more perfectly edible food is prevented from heading to the bin – but that thousands of people across the UK will be able to enjoy their Iceland favourites at no cost during a time when so many people are feeling the effect of the cost of living crisis.”
The Iceland-OLIO tie-up comes after a successful pilot scheme between those organisations last year across selected Iceland stores. During that trial more than 4,000 meals redistributed amongst 240 local families.
In total, nearly 1,000 stores operated by Iceland and its sister retailer, The Food Warehouse, will supply surplus food to OLIO. The partnership will roll out incrementally over the next nine months.
Iceland said the decision to work with OLIO is part of its current food waste reduction programme that redistributed the equivalent of more than two million meals last year, via several charity partnerships.
Catherine David, director of collaboration & change at waste reduction charity Wrap, commented: “We are delighted that Iceland and OLIO, both Courtauld Commitment 2030 signatories, have taken this important step to ensure more good food goes to feed people.
“A best before date should not signal the end of life for any food, but sadly surplus food nearing a Best Before date is still not redistributed as often as it could be. Foods with a best before date applied are still good to eat beyond that date and we encourage people to use their judgement and check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for more tips on how to reduce food waste, save money and fight climate change.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]