The Too Good to Waste boxes will contain around 5kg of fruit and vegetable produce that are still fine to eat, for just £1.50. The boxes will go on sale at 122 Lidl stores and if rolled out nationwide, could help redistribute 10,000 tonnes of surplus produce annually.

The consumer-facing initiative offers a discount for fresh produce that customers may otherwise leave on the shelf, while also encouraging households to purchase healthier food.

Lidl UK’s chief executive, Christian Härtnagel, said: “Proportionately, we sell the most fruit and veg in the sector, but we know from our data that fresh produce is one of the biggest contributors to food waste in stores, so we’re excited by the difference our ‘Too Good to Waste’ initiative will make. Not only will it help customers consider items that they might have previously dismissed, it will also provide an opportunity for them to make further savings.”

Feed the world

The initiative builds on Lidl’s goal to cut food waste by 25% per store by 2020. One year on from setting the target, Lidl has reduced food waste by 13% and has also committed to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of cutting food waste by 50% by 2030.

The boxes will be on sale in the mornings for the first two hours of trading. Any unsold items will be donated to local causes through the supermarket’s Feed It Back food redistribution programme, which partners with Neighbourly to donate surplus food to charities. The Feed It Back programme is expected to roll out nationwide imminently.

Lidl has also announced it will introduce additional price reductions on its fresh items that contain use by dates – on top of the 30% reduction in place for items approaching the end of the recommended dates.

The launch of the initiative comes weeks after the Champions 12.3, the coalition of government, business and civil society leaders which aim to accelerate progress towards the SDG of halving global food waste by 2030, highlighted the economic benefits of tackling food waste.

Research from the coalition found that firms can save $6 for every $1 they spend on action to tackle food waste.

edie’s Responsible Retail 2018

Solving key challenges – including modern slavery, supply chain involvement and the circular economy – will be one of the key themes of edie’s third annual Responsible Retail conference, taking place on 20 September 2018 at 99 City Road, London.

The full-day event has been designed for the retailers, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders that are looking for the information, insight and inspiration required to seize the sustainability opportunity.

Find out more about Responsible Retail 2018 and register to attend here.

Matt Mace

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