Iceland - Grocer

Iceland Foods has redistributed more than 3.5 million meals since January 2022, surpassing its yearly target set as part of efforts to reduce food waste and cut its carbon emissions.

The frozen food giant had been aiming to redistribute three million meals by the end of the current financial year, which ends in March. The milestone means it’s now on track to deliver four million in that time, it said.

“We have committed to reducing food and drink waste by 50% by 2030, and it is great to see we are on track to achieve our goals, as taking action against food waste remains one of our top priorities,” said Iceland executive chairman Richard Walker.

One million of those meals have been redistributed through its partnership with the platform sharing app Olio, which launched in 950 Iceland and Food Warehouse stores in July 2022.

Olio volunteers collect Iceland food that is nearing the end of its shelf life, which is then redistributed for free to app users living nearby. 

Aside from the Olio partnership, Iceland also offers surplus food to staff free of charge, while any food unfit for human consumption is converted into animal feed or electricity through anaerobic digestion.

The retailer aims to prevent any unsold food going to landfill and said the efforts had helped it save more than 1,518 tonnes of food from going to waste.

Supermarkets have been under growing pressure to reduce food waste over recent years, however the cost of living crisis has led many to accelerate their efforts.

Sainsbury’s revealed last week that it had donated 10 million meals in the space of 18 months through its partnership with the charity platform Neighbourly, while Tesco has also donated three million meals during a three-year partnership with Olio, the supermarket said in February.

Last week The Grocer revealed Waitrose will trial converting surplus food into animal feed. The six-month trial will launch in 20 stores and will see store staff segregate damaged or leftover food unfit to be eaten by humans into colour-coded bags to be backhauled for processing.