rob collins waitrose

Sir, We applaud The Grocer’s campaign to reduce food waste and to accelerate progress on this issue. Our firm belief is that all food fit for consumption should be eaten and enjoyed.

We continue to reduce substantially the amount going to anaerobic digestion, which we regard as a last resort. We began donating surplus food to charities in 2012. We give our branches the freedom to find a local solution and work with many different organisations and charities across the country. We also encourage surplus food donations from our distribution centres - for example, since July 2015 our facility in Leyland, Lancashire, has donated well over 100,000 food items to nearby community organisations through a partnership with Company Shop. This year we introduced a trial scheme where partners (employees) can buy food that is on its last day of shelf life or past its best-before date at a significantly reduced price.

In February we also launched our A Little Less Than Perfect range of class 2 vegetables, and these have been well received by our customers. There is still a lot of work to be done in our own business and across the industry, but through our collective efforts and your campaign I am encouraged that we can make real progress.

Rob Collins, managing director, Waitrose