According to reports, Marks and Spencer is to begin donating surplus food to charity. It will begin with 150 stores in December and plans to roll the scheme out to all of its stores early next year.
Following similar initiatives by Tesco and Sainsbury’s, M&S conducted a series of trials and pilots in 45 stores aimed at finding the most effective way of redistributing surplus food to ensure it is put to the best possible use.
Head of Responsible Sourcing Louise Nicholls said; “This is the first nationwide redistribution scheme to provide an innovative, practical solution to surplus food redistribution by building local connections, enabling all our stores to link with local food projects and help support their communities.” The products to be donated include ‘fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes and groceries [that are]nearing their expiry date.’
According to the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK supermarkets waste up to 200,000 tonnes of food a year. M&S will donate the food via Neighbourly, a social enterprise scheme which connects businesses with community projects. Neighbourly founder Nick Davies commented, “Putting food resources to the best possible use is a huge aspect of creating a sustainable planet.” Food charities keen to participate in the scheme can register online from Monday 12th October.