fareshare app

The FareShare app

Waitrose is set to put more funding and resources behind its FareShare trial after branding its first three months “successful”.

The retailer has donated 4,250 meals since March via the FareShare FoodCloud app, which connects its branches with local charities in need of surplus food.

In a further extension of the scheme, these charities will be among those eligible to receive funds from the Waitrose Community Matters initiative, which gives shoppers the chance to vote for the most deserving local cause via green tokens.

Waitrose will also encourage staff to volunteer in the partner organisations.

The FareShare trial started out slowly in three Waitrose branches and has since expanded to 25 stores, with the aim of a nationwide rollout by summer 2018.

Since March, Waitrose says the three initial branches participating in the trial have given out the equivalent of 4,250 meals to 12 charities.

Prior to the trial, all Waitrose stores had the freedom to find a local solution for their surplus stock. Waitrose hopes the national tie-up with FareShare will increase efficiency and build on the £1.3m worth of surplus food redistributed by the retailer over the past 12 months.

Laura Strangeway, Waitrose sustainability manager, said: “In the five years we’ve been donating surplus food prior to these trials, we’ve found one of the main challenges is letting local charities know what food we have available for them to collect and when. And, with many local groups being very small, they can have limited resources to make the most of the food donations we can offer.

“The ease of FareShare - coupled with the additional equipment and manpower we’re offering - should make it much easier for groups to help many more people in the local community.”