today's grop food waste

Today’s Group has released a raft of advice to help independent retailers and foodservice operators reduce store food waste and save money.

The buying group is running a series of advice articles across its online and print channels to promote food waste best practice and offer handy tips for retailers and foodservice wholesalers.

For retailers, the buying group is encouraging stores to appoint a food waste champion from their staff to monitor stock and mark down ambient goods well ahead of the best before date, monitor customer behaviour and make note of recurring products that don’t sell to reduce food waste and save money.

When surplus stock is unavoidable, Today’s advises retailers to donate it to food banks, soup kitchens, religious centres, school breakfast clubs, care homes, homeless shelters or animal sanctuaries to improve their standing in the local community.

Today’s is also encouraging foodservice retailers to make changes including reducing portion sizes, making dish descriptions clear to avoid customers ordering unwanted side portions, offering doggy bags and making a note of the most common food returns and consider removing them from the dish.

The advice also highlights the change in Scottish waste legislation, which legally requires businesses generating more than 5kg of food waste to have it collected for recycling, as it could soon become law throughout the UK.

“It’s quite hard with our set-up as a buying group because we don’t have any surplus food. We can only give advice,” said Today’s Group trading controller Hilary Nithsdale.

“I don’t think small retailers have a huge issue with waste, but I also don’t think it’s something they would think about. What we’ve done is planted the seed. If you’re a small retailer and have 12 cans of soup that have gone out of date somebody will have them. Reducing food waste is not just the job of the big five supermarkets - it’s a job for everybody.”