planet organic

The organic retailer distributed more than 11 tonnes of food in 2018 alone

Planet Organic has claimed a UK retailer first in achieving zero edible food waste through a partnership with food-sharing app Olio.

The organic food retailer linked up with Olio in November 2017 in a bid to cut surplus food waste from its seven-strong store estate. It has since redistributed more than 55,188 portions of food, including over 11 tonnes in 2018 alone.

It has also become part of Olio’s ‘food waste heroes’ programme, whereby local volunteers collect unsold food from its stores and add the items to the app for nearby members to request and pick up. Olio’s 3,000 food safety-trained volunteers have collected and redistributed more than 652,000 portions of food since the programme began in 2016.

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The app allows businesses or individuals to upload details and photography of their surplus food, before customers place an order for the free food before collecting it at a specified time, arranged via private messaging.

“We work our socks off to minimise food waste in the first instance, but we do inevitably have some waste,” said Planet Organic CEO Peter Marsh. “We spent years scouring the market for a partner with the necessary food handling processes to redistribute this unavoidable waste, and Olio was the first we came across that had the necessary capabilities. We have seen some enormous benefits since embarking on our partnership, and if more companies engaged with this wonderful initiative the amount of food wasted could be dramatically reduced, not to mention the enormous impact it can have in addressing issues relating to poverty and hunger in communities.”

As more Planet Organic stores are due to open this year, Olio said it hopes to expand the partnership even further.

Olio Co-founder Saasha Celestial-One also praised Planet Organic’s commitment to minimising its impact on the environment. “We couldn’t be happier to work with them to help them achieve their goal of zero edible store waste, and are proud to consider them a flagship partner in the fight against food waste and hunger,” she said.