B.C. organizations collaborate on industry leading food waste reduction process
(June 7, 2019 – Vancouver, B.C.) Western Canada’s largest home-grown grocery chain, Save-On-Foods, has surpassed its company-wide goal of cutting its food waste in half by the year 2025 – a goal it announced only six months ago.
In collaboration with B.C.-based organizations FoodMesh and Loop Resource and in partnership with Food Banks BC and other charity partners across the country, 86 Save-On-Foods stores – more than half of all its locations – are now diverting 100 per cent of their unsalable perishable food from landfills. The company is in the process of scaling its 100 per cent food waste diversion process to another 35 stores, which will be food waste-free by the end of the year.
Today, Save-On-Foods is rolling out the next food waste diversion hub in Maple Ridge, B.C., which will also provide food waste diversion services for locations in the neighbouring cities of Mission and Pitt Meadows.
Since reaching the 50 per cent reduction target announced in January, the company has revised its goal to become a zero-food waste operation within 3 years.
“We started the ball rolling on diverting our surplus food from landfills with a single store in February of 2018, and from there, worked on three simultaneous pilot projects in collaboration with Food Mesh, Loop Resources, and members of Food Banks BC to ensure we had a scalable and sustainable solution that allowed us to confidently state our first target,” said Darrell Jones, president of Save-On-Foods.
“Since then, we’ve rolled this out to the point that more than half of all our stores diverting 100 per cent of their perishables, 100 per cent of the time. This solution was grown here in British Columbia, and we are confident it will work across the country. We have created a process that can track and measure surplus food and how it’s put to better and higher uses. This is a great first step in our ultimate goal of being a zero-waste company, and we are able to leverage the insights from the process to help us reduce surplus and potentially wasted food in the first place.”
Food that’s unsalable but perfectly safe to consume is diverted to food banks and other participating non-profit organizations, while other food not safe for human consumption is provided to family farms for animal feed and compost. Through these partnerships, Save-On-Foods has provided more than 500,000 free meals to families in need across Western Canada since the beginning of the year.
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Jessica Regan, CEO, FoodMesh
“This recovery program provide fresh healthy perishables to our population’s most food insecure while supporting our local farmers and diverting avoidable food loss away from our waste streams. We are incredibly excited to be part of such an important initiative.”
Jaime White, New Projects Director, Loop Resource
“When you support at risk families, and small farms; you invest in the heart of your community. Benefits large and small ripple outwards from growth of dynamic, vibrant, and sustainable communities, while securing ethical food production close to home. Save-On-Foods has been an example to the industry; in sustainable, values driven management of an otherwise wasted resource. We are proud to work with them, and thrilled to observe the positive effects blossom in the communities we serve!”
Laura Lansink, Executive Director, Food Banks BC
“With close to 1.5 million metric tonnes valued at close to $6.4 billion dollars of surplus edible food wasted each year in BC and close to 100,000 individuals struggling to put food on the table, perishable food recovery with our partner, Save-On-Foods has been a true game-changer for food banks in BC. Now fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy are made available to every person at risk of hunger rather than ending up as waste.”
Save-On-Foods is committed to Going the Extra Mile for customers in every community served, every day. Known for its unique approach in customizing each store to best suit the needs of the neighbourhood by carrying more than 2,500 locally-made products from more than 2,000 local growers and producers, the company has been innovating and putting customers first for over 100 years. Save-On-Foods, its supplier partners, team members and generous customers have donated more than $30 million to children’s hospitals and contributes $3 million in donations to food banks across Western Canada each year.
Mesh Exchange (dba FoodMesh) is a Vancouver based technology company building scalable food recovery solutions for food businesses. We build apps and programs to simplify and digitize the redistribution of surplus food. Established in March 2016, our work has focused on raising awareness of the global wasted food crisis while developing viable business tech solutions for food businesses targeting waste reduction goals.
About Loop Resource
Loop Resource is a food rescue facilitator active daily across all parts of western Canada. We provide simple systems with safe liability structures that enable food wholesalers, retailers, and producers to divert one hundred percent of their unsaleable food away from landfill, and towards those in their community who can use it best. Our simple, adaptable system allows us to move quickly to implement tailor-made solutions, while directing the goods to their highest and best use; first people, then animals, and finally sustainable food production and energy. We believe that making the right environmental, social, and sustainable choices should not be complicated, full of liability, or expensive for any organization. Connect with Loop as a charity, farm, energy producer or enthusiast: loopresource.ca or on social media: facebook.com/loopresource
For more information, contact:
(604) 888-2079, extension 2200