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Sainsbury’s sees food waste as opportunity for supply chain

Sainsbury’s sees food waste as opportunity for supply chain

Sainsbury's head of sustainable sourcing, Stuart Lendrum, has admitted that food waste presents a huge opportunity for driving value creation throughout the supply chain.

Speaking at a recent Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum Keynote Seminar, Mr Lendrum said the issue was in need of pushing further up the value chain in order for strategies in the area to be a success.

He told delegates at the event that the most efficient supply chains were ones that were the most sustainable, and devising a plan of action for food waste was vital in ensuring that the supermarket creates gains in carbon conservation.

He said: "It's about working with suppliers, customers, colleagues, to really rethink waste.

"If we have food waste that is still edible, how do we make sure that it isn't going through to be processed to anaerobic digestion, that it's going to food donation and staying as high up the value chain?"

He added that the company would look at the amount of waste within every part of the process, including farm level.

But Mr Lendrum claimed that "the issue of packaging is still there with customers", and that retailers would have to focus a lot of its efforts on innovation in terms of the way it packs its products.

New EU legislation over packaging and food labelling could also present a challenge for Sainsbury's ambitions by placing what could be a regulatory burden on the company over the next three years.

The regulations include labelling that is clear and easy to read, easily visible and understandable, permanent, and accurate.

Basic information must be given, along with a list of ingredients and any appropriate warnings.

Mr Lendrum admitted that meeting such regulations as well as giving its customers the support in order to reduce waste would be difficult.

It is not the first time Sainsbury's has launched a campaign aimed at reducing food waste. In January it launched the 'Make your Roast go Further' campaign, launched with the intention of cutting the amount of refuse resulting from cooked dinners, which it said was one of the biggest contributors to rubbish within many households.

 

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