M&S has gone one step further in tackling food waste by redistributing surplus chilled food from all its stores.
The retailer today committed to a full rollout of its initiative to donate chilled foods to charities and people in need, following a trial in 130 stores in May.
M&S stores use social platform Neighbourly to flag up produce that is left over at the end of the day to local groups, which can claim the food.
Until now, the scheme has largely been restricted to bread, cakes and ambient products.
But M&S said its 130-store trial to include food such as meat, poultry, dairy and ready meals had generated a “positive response”, and pledged to roll it out across its estate of over 550 food stores, not including Simply Food franchises.
M&S reported that donations through Neighbourly had increased by 11% since May, when its chilled food trial began. It has donated a total of 1.6 million meals through the app since its initial rollout across ambient produce in December.
“As a predominately chilled food business, extending chilled food donations and adding non-food donations from all our stores is an important step in progressing with our Plan A 2025 zero waste ambition,” said sustainability manager Hazel Culley.
“However, we are not complacent and will continue to look at new ways to address the level of waste we generate in the first place, and where there is edible food surplus, ensure it goes to a human mouth by 2025.”