Ocado publishes near-zero food waste figures

Online supermarket Ocado has published near-zero food waste figures, believed to be the lowest in the industry.

In 2017, Ocado redistributed 2,200 tonnes of food across the UK by working with food banks and charities

In 2017, Ocado redistributed 2,200 tonnes of food across the UK by working with food banks and charities

The company’s first food waste report revealed a low figure of 0.02% - equal to just 1 in 6,000 items.

Ocado attributes its success to its “highly efficient business model” which incorporates a short supply chain, controlled temperatures, bespoke software and “suitable” packaging.

“Our business model is built around efficiency and low waste,” Ocado’s head of corporate responsibility Suzanne Westlake said. “By continually improving our technology, processes, and our relationships with suppliers, we’ve been able to reduce our food waste to practically zero – I believe we have the lowest total food waste figures in our industry.”

‘Vital work’

Every bag of shopping is packed in one of Ocado’s three “futuristic” warehouses, which use technology such as automation, robotics and proprietary software to reduce food waste.

Products come straight from the supplier to the warehouses and are packed into shopping bags there, before being sent out direct to the customer, or to a spoke for same-day delivery.

A key part of Ocado’s food waste strategy is around redistribution. In 2017, Ocado redistributed 2,200 tonnes of food across the UK by working with food banks and charities and helping customers donate food as part of their weekly shop.

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 signatory is now turning its attentions to helping customers waste less food at home by providing helpful advice on storage and recipes. An online campaign launched in partnership with food waste body Wrap gives customers information on how to reduce household waste.

Wrap’s special advisor on household food waste Helen White said Ocado’s work was “vital” to help reduce the 7.3 million tonnes of food waste in UK homes each year.

She said: “At home, one of the main reasons for binning food is that we don’t use it in time; yet there are some really simple things we can all do, such as making sure we store our food in the best way, to making the most of the food we buy.”

George Ogleby


Tags

Food waste | waste management

Topics

Waste & resource management
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