Starbucks launches leftover food discount scheme

Starbucks has launched a new food waste scheme which will see products near expiry sold at half price during the last hour of trading, with all profits going to help prevent child hunger.

Store managers at more than 350 UK Starbucks stores will display labels offering a half price discount. The proceeds will be donated to Action Against Hunger, after the humanitarian organisation received £1,500 during an 11-week trial in 16 Starbucks Manchester stores earlier this year.

Starbucks Europe head of communications Simon Redfern said: “Tackling a challenge like food waste is not an easy one, but we’re proud to have developed a programme which will deliver for the long term. Off the back of the success of our Manchester trial, we’re pleased to roll out this programme to the rest of our company owned British stores, and will be working with our franchise partners to see where else this programme could work as well.

“Action Against Hunger is a respected international charity, and we’re looking forward to working with them on this initiative to support projects alleviating the impact of food poverty.”

Food security

Starbucks claims that the scheme overcomes the “legal and regulatory barriers around the safe transportation of fresh food items with a short remaining shelf-life”. It builds upon the coffee chain’s waste reduction efforts, which includes an in-store coffee cup recycling scheme for its customers.

The food waste programme has been applauded by Action Against Hunger, which highlighted that 16 million children in the world suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

“By working together with Starbucks and their customers we aim to reduce food waste whilst raising money to save children’s lives where food security is threatened most – from Yemen and Iraq, to the countries currently at risk of famine, including South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria,” Action Against Hunger director of fundraising and communications Matt White said.

The retail industry has ramped up efforts to reduce food waste through collaboration and innovative techniques. Indeed, charity organisation Fareshare has successfully collaborated with all of the major supermarkets on food redistribution programmes.

In June, Ikea launched a new smart device-based initiative which aims to cut in half the amount of food waste in its operations by 2020, while Sainsbury’s has created its own app, which operates as a smart meter to monitor and weigh food waste.

George Ogleby

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