Lidl Ireland Commits to Reduce Food Waste as Part of National Food Waste Forum
Thursday January 25th – Lidl Ireland Managing Director J.P. Scally, along with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, has today signed the Food Waste Forum Charter as part of the Retail Action Group for Food Waste. This charter sees Lidl commit to reduce food waste through the redistribution of surplus food. As part of the Food Waste Charter, Lidl has pledged to build an awareness and understanding of food waste and its issues as well as promote innovative food waste prevention solutions. The Retail Action Group for Food Waste will work together to gather and share reliable and accurate food waste information, to identify areas for improvement, to measure progress and also to work towards a common methodology to report on Food Waste data in the sector.
The pledge is part of the Retail Action Group on Food Waste established by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to accelerate progress towards meeting targets set by the UN as part of their Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.
In line with the launch of the forum, Lidl has rolled out a national food redistribution programme called ‘Lidl Feed It Back’ to all 154 stores and 3 warehouses in Ireland which will see food waste reduced through the donation of surplus food to local charities in the communities in which Lidl operates. Surplus food refers to food that is perfectly good to eat but, for one reason or another, cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste. In the case of ‘Lidl Feed It Back’, half of all donations made to local charities are fresh fruit and vegetables, meaning that the meals donated to charities and community groups across Ireland by Lidl are healthy, nutritious meals for those that need it most.
Since August 2017, Lidl has been working with FoodCloud to donate surplus food to charities. FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects retailers and suppliers to hundreds of local charities to redistribute surplus food via a software platform. Through this partnership, Lidl has connected with over 250 charities and donated 250,000 meals since the launch in August.
J.P. Scally, Managing Director at Lidl Ireland said of the campaign: ‘At Lidl Ireland we are extremely proud to be working closely with Minister Denis Naughten and The Retail Action Group for Food Waste. In signing today’s Food Waste Charter, we further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to reducing food waste in the Irish retail sector and positively contribute to the communities in which we operate. Last year Lidl Ireland became a verified member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green Programme where food waste along with 23 additional targets in areas such as waste emissions, energy, water, responsible sourcing of products, health and nutrition and social sustainability are now key priorities for our business in the coming years. We look forward to working with other retailers across Ireland in prioritising the prevention of food waste.’
Minister Naughten said: ‘I have been delighted to the hear about the work Lidl are doing to reduce food waste across their Irish operations, by taking part in the Retail Action Group they are also showing leadership in this area which will encourage other retailers and businesses to get involved by signing the Charter.’