Waste-ful with ideas, but Waste-less with food!
We want food to be enjoyed till the last bite. So we join forces along the supply chain against wasting food.
We know that gastronomers want their customers to indulge in their culinary delights till the last bite. In the same way we want our customers to value food as much as we do. Seeing food wasted in the process is a waste of time, effort, money and other valuable resources along the whole supply chain back to the origin of food. That’s why METRO joins forces against wasting food along the supply chain. We want our customers to benefit from solutions that save resources and costs and do good at the same time.
Avoiding food waste by
partnering with actors along the supply chain
We are aware that one third of the world’s food is either wasted or lost - an amount that would be enough to meet global food needs and is additionally causing enormous amounts of CO2 emissions. Together with our partners along the value chain from industry, politics, civil society, and our customers we aim to drive innovations, promote dialogue, and kick off debates to generate solutions. This "from farm to fork" approach is shared by many of our partners in this challenge. Together we have an impact on lowering the world’s carbon footprint from food waste which accounts for 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and besides food, also prevent agricultural and labour resources, land, energy, and water from going to waste. Apart from social and environmental aspects, we also see preventing food waste as an opportunity we can benefit of economically by making our trading process smarter, more efficient and by enabling our customers to run their business more responsible as well.
Our strategic approach
Our strategic approach to food waste is deployed across five pillars:
Supply Chain / Upstream
We tackle the challenge from farm to fork, working with our suppliers and beyond, in our industry, while monitoring and sharing best practice.
Food Waste Reporting
We set ambitious targets and objectives publicly. We monitor, manage and report on targets using credible standards such as the FLW protocol. We continuously focus on improving data availability and quality, to make data driven decisions.
In FY 2021/22 our Food Waste reduction totaled 10.9% kg per m2 of selling and delivery space compared to the baseline in 2017/18.
METRO AG Food Waste Report 2020/21
Our Food Waste Report provides a detailed overview of our food waste reduction performance, historical data since our 2017/18 baseline and examples of how we achieved this reduction.
Food Waste Solutions
We explore and utilize the latest technology solutions to help us achieve our food waste targets and objectives. We continuously assess fit of these solutions for our business and adjust, as and when necessary. Furthermore, we scan for solutions that enable our customers to tackle food waste in their own operations, preventing food loss and waste in the HoReCa sector as well.
Customers and Partners
We support and encourage our customers and partners to use solutions that save resources and costs and do good in society at the same time.
We actively seek, foster and promote dialogue & partnerships across the entire wholesale value chain to influence on matters exceeding company borders. We have set a measurable, time-bound, group-wide, and public target to reduce food waste in our own operations by 50 % by 2025. We have committed to achieving this in a resolution of the Consumer Goods Forum in 2016 and continue to engage with multiple stakeholders internally and externally to achieve this target.
We have established programmes to measure food loss and waste – specifically, we have incorporated food waste data into our existing Carbon Accounting Process and Tools (SoFi) database. We are following the break-down of food loss & waste volumes by food category and/or lifecycle stage as per the Food Loss and Waste Protocol (FLWP) requirements in our operations and at the same time engaging with a number of stakeholders internally – from Operating Partners to Country Corporate Responsibility representatives to Technical Operations Managers at site level – to raise their FLWP reporting capabilities and ensure sound food loss and waste data quality.
We run several programmes and initiatives to reduce the total volume of food loss and waste in our operations – notably operating interventions at site level. Upstream in our supply chains many fresh foods spoil due to climatic conditions, like extreme heat or improper storage. METRO has set up properly climate-controlled ‘food collection points’ in rural areas, such as in India, to reduce post-harvest losses. Easily perishable food now reaches the stores in 8 hours instead of 36 hours and farmers receive ongoing training on topics such as crop protection, post-harvest technology or nutrition management to further increase the amount of food that reaches the consumer from farm to fork.
At the same time, we have programmes aimed at using food loss & waste for alternative uses – notably food donations and use of food waste for energy recovery or other circular economy projects. We work with partners at Group level but also support activity at country level, since we recognize the differences in each country and therefore the need for tailored, regional approaches to make programmes successful.
Such partnerships can range from global capability building, to food donations, to technology solutions See more info on each partnership below.
World Ressource Institute
In September 2019 METRO joined the 10x20x30 initiative of the World Resource Institute. Within this initiative at least 10 of the world’s largest food retailers and providers follow the “Target-Measure-Act” approach, meaning that each engages 20 of their priority suppliers to do the same – thereby halving their food loss and waste by 2030.Together with participating businesses we share the mission to massively increase private sector contribution to the global goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030 by catalyzing efforts “up” the supply chain.
Too Good To Go
In 3 countries, we are working with Too Good To Go (TGTG).The company provides a platform to sell surplus food that otherwise goes to waste in a specially branded bag (the Magic Bag) at reduced prices. It operates an app that allows food waste fighting end-consumers to buy unsold food from participating METRO stores.
In financial year 2021/22, the dedicated collaboration has ‘saved’ more than 121,000 meals, which corresponds to a reduction of 303 tonnes of CO2.
The TGTG partnership also includes a customer referral model. METRO sales force teams are able to propose the digital solution to HoReCa and trader customers to use in their operations. By promoting TGTG we want to connect our customers with the food waste fighter community to reduce food waste together and increase their reputation and community impact. We are promoting the TGTG platform in 2 countries.
Since January 2018, METRO partners with Wholesurplus in Turkey, to tackle the challenge of food waste reduction in own operations there. Wholesurplus offers a holistic business solution which includes a digital platform to manage food waste inventory in accordance to the food waste hierarchy based on real time data analytics as well as a unique marketplace for redistribution and donation. The starting situation in Turkey called for urgent action because up to 80% of food that cannot be sold ended up in landfill, which means it is lost to feed people. By using the digital marketplace our stores can easily give edible food to food banks, social institutions, animal shelters, or even to the animal feed production industry. In addition, the data analysis function lets them quantify and monitor food waste transparently in real time enabling them to implement targeted measures to further improve their operational processes.
METRO has collaborated with the ‘Tafel’ (food bank) movement for more than 2 decades to provide people in need with food that is still of impeccable quality despite an approaching best-before date.
We are also steadily expanding the collaboration on an international scale and partner with the European Federation of Food Banks (Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires, FEBA).
In 21 countries and service units, we work with food bank organisations. In FY 2021/22 METRO Food Donations amount to 63,342,362 €.
By working together with KITRO we can offer METRO customers in the hotel and restaurant sector a fully automated solution that uses hardware and software to help reduce food waste by measuring and analysing food waste. The software provides a data overview of weight and shows the cost of food waste. It supports the user to identify the different sources of waste, eliminate operational inefficiencies and use resources more efficiently.
Upstream food waste reductions
Upstream in our supply chains many fresh foods spoil due to climatic conditions, like extreme heat or improper storage. METRO has set up properly climate-controlled ‘food collection points’ in rural areas, such as in India, to reduce post-harvest losses. Easily perishable food now reaches the stores in 8 hours instead of 36 hours and farmers receive ongoing training on topics such as crop protection, post-harvest technology or nutrition management to further increase the amount of food that reaches the consumer from farm to fork.