Gousto and DPD launch new courier scheme to redistribute surplus food

UK recipe kit firm Gousto has built on an existing partnership with food distribution charity to FareShare to reduce wastage across the supply chain by launching a new courier service with DPD.

Gousto and DPD launch new courier scheme to redistribute surplus food

Less than 1% of surplus food from Gousto fulfillment centres ends up as waste

Gousto has been working with FareShare since December 2020 to redistribute surplus food from fulfilment centres. The recipe box company has donated more than 78 tonnes of food since then, enabling FareShare to redistribute more than 187,000 meals to more than 1,600 charities across the UK.

Gousto has this week launched a new partnership to build on this scheme. The company will work with courier partner DPD to reroute any failed box deliveries to FareShare. Launching initially as a trial at DPD sites, the scheme will support Gousto’s commitment that no usable waste ends up in landfill or incineration

Gousto’s chief product officer Sally Matthews said: “Food waste is a huge issue within the traditional grocery supply chain. We’re proud to operate with less than 1% surplus food but there’s always more to be done.

“By partnering with suppliers like DPD who share our ambitions to create a more sustainable supply chain, and with the help of amazing charities like FareShare, we can make a real difference. There are no excuses for inaction and we hope others in the industry will set up similar operations.”

As Matthews states, less than 1% of surplus food from Gousto fulfillment centres ends up as waste, largely due to AI technology that predicts weekly order volumes that prevent over-ordering from suppliers.

Gousto is now expanding its fulfilment network, opening two new fulfilment centres by the end of next year. Additionally, findings from Foodsteps found that due to a shorter supply chain and reduced food waste, meals from Gousto produce around 23% less carbon emissions than equivalent meals from supermarket stores.

As for FareShare, the organisation was able to redistribute 55,000 tonnes of food to charities and community groups over the last 12 months – the equivalent of nearly 132 million meals to vulnerable people.

More than 92,000 tonnes of surplus food was redistributed in the UK last year, marking a 45% year-on-year increase, partly caused by the response to Covid-19.

That is according to a new report published by WRAP in June. The report charts trends in surplus food redistribution across the UK on an annual basis, starting in 2015, covering items redistributed through charitable and commercial channels.

Charitable channels include businesses and individuals donating to local food banks or other charities, as well as business partnerships with redistribution platforms such as FareShare or Neighbourly. WRAP’s definition of commercial channels covers any business that redistributes surplus food for a profit.

Across both channels, more than 92,000 tonnes of food were redistributed during 2020, up from some 28,500 tonnes in 2015 and 63,000 tonnes in 2019. More than one-third (38%) of the year-on-year increase is directly attributable to Covid-19, according to WRAP, with businesses such as restaurants, pubs and foodservice firms having to change their supply chain arrangements to cope with falling demand.

WRAP has valued the food redistributed in 2020 alone at £280m. The cumulative value of salvaged food from 2015 is estimated to stand just shy of £1bn.  

Matt Mace

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