Asda agrees to donate all surplus stock to FareShare

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Asda will redistribute all surplus stock from its supply chain to 910 UK charities under the terms of a new partnership with food charity FareShare, the retailer has announced.

The pioneering supply chain model will provide an additional 3.6 million meals each year across the UK and increase the quantity of chilled food sent to FareShare by 1,500 tonnes, a 41% increase in the total of all food currently redistributed by the charity, Asda said in a statement.    

Asda said surplus stock occurs when a supplier sends a retailer too much of a product it’s ordered. As the product isn’t owned by the retailer they can’t sell it so have to send it back, but by the time it gets back to the supplier it’s often out of date and is destined for landfill.

“It’s hard to believe that in this day in age, nearly four million adults and children in the UK go to bed hungry each year. Food poverty is a very real problem and it’s getting worse, not better,” said Asda chief merchandising officer for food Barry Williams.  “Through our new supply chain model and work with FareShare, I’m proud that we’re able to help feed millions of vulnerable people around the UK who would otherwise go hungry.”

FareShare CEO Lindsay Boswell welcomed Asda’s move.

“Not only will this programme have immense environmental impact by diverting food away from the waste stream, it will also save hundreds of charities millions of pounds a year. They will be able to reinvest these savings into providing additional support services for their beneficiaries,” he said. “A breakfast club will be able to help vulnerable children learn to read and a day centre will be able to invest more in employment programmes, helping people get back on track.”

To help FareShare develop the infrastructure it needs to cope with the increase in volumes, Asda has also announced it will invest £100,000 to grow the capacity of FareShare depots and to invest in transportation, logistics and labour.  The donation will be made through the Asda Foundation.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Good on 'em

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  • Aaahh thats nice of ASDA, they always ride to the rescue. As sympathetic as I am towards people that are in the unfortunate position of not knowing when their next meal will be, I'm suspicious of these big companies making these kinds of anouncements. Lets be honest it's not them paying for this, it's their suppliers!
    What next.. world peace and harmony all thanks to another retailer?

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  • Hi Mike, the FareShare programme is a two way contribution, you are correct to say it is suppliers product that is being donated to Fareshare, ASDA are donating all the logistics costs to collect the product from ASDA depots and deliver it to all17 of the FareShare warehouses.

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  • What a great piece of news for the people that need this type of donation, and for ASDA and its suppliers, who are saving food being wasted and contributing to a good cause.

    Not only will the suppliers save money in disposal costs and the cost to transport back to base FareShare saves as well.

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  • The thing always missed in these articles is the fact that in order for a beneficiary to receive the redistributed food, they must pay £1000 annually to Fareshare. This is quite an amount for small-budgeted food banks. From personal experience of being a Fareshare member I can say the quantity and variety of food we have been receiving weekly is not worth this sum. Furthermore, Fareshare's reputation has made it impossible for small food banks to approach supermarkets themselves as they often already 'do their bit' by supporting Fareshare, and hence cannot support other charities. The same goes for supermarket collections. So not only does Fareshare make us pay for this surplus food, donated by supermarkets, but it ruins any chance of independent food banks being able to approach stores themselves, and receive this food for free as it should be.

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