Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 9

A

n estimated one-third of all food produced is either lost
or wasted.
Nearly 30% of the world's agricultural land is used for food
that will never be eaten.
Food waste is one of the top issues facing the food industry. And
grocery retailers and their suppliers and other supply-chain partners are
working harder than ever to do something about it - for the benefit not
only of hungry people but also for the health of the Earth.
Food waste is the single largest component going into landfills today,
said Ashley Flower, public relations manager for Carlisle, Pa.-based retail
chain The Giant Co.
Yet there are still far too many people across the country and within
Giant's own communities who don't know where their next meal is
coming from.
Giant is trying to change that. Flower said the company's commitment to reducing food waste flows out of its overall commitment to the
environment.
"We're known for being an environmental steward, fueled by the
passion of our team members who embrace earth-friendly practices
both in our stores and our warehouses," she said. "As a food retailer,
we are committed to reducing waste and minimizing our environmental impact, while at the same time maximizing food donations to our
regional food banks."

Partnerships: better together

JOAQUIN CORBALAN - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Since the early 1980s, Giant has partnered with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, donating canned goods and surplus food. Everything
changed, however, with the onset of the recession in 2008.
"It was clear that advanced solutions were needed to help the food
bank meet new, increased demand," Flower said. "And missing from the
food bank was high-protein meat."
Giant and the food bank created a task force to address the issue, and
the result was the charitable "meat rescue" program Meat the Needs.
Today, all 186 Giant stores safely freeze and donate meat that is pulled
from sale, a day before its sell-by date. Before the program, meat that
would go unsold would end up in the waste stream.
Giant is also an affiliate partner of Feeding America, which is helping
the chain roll out its food donation program (150 Giant stores currently
have such programs). Giant's donations include contributions from its
meat, produce and instore bakery and deli departments, as well as from
center-store.
In 2019, Flower said, Giant donated just over 5 million pounds of
food to local food banks and pantries.
"Our goal is to donate as much product as possible before it needs to
be recycled," she said.
While food donations are always preferred over food waste recycling,
Giant partners with Divert to recycle food that cannot be sold or donated.
That includes items that food banks cannot accept due to high risk
of food borne illnesses, foods that have spoiled, and packages that
have been damaged or compromised. Divert processes the unsold
food waste to make a solution used in anaerobic digestion to create
clean energy.
"Helping to heal our planet, while at the same time fight hunger in
our local communities, is serious business for all of us at Giant."

BEST PRACTICES
ReFED has identified 27 of the best opportunities to reduce
food waste through a detailed economic analysis. The solutions were analyzed using the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy
- which prioritizes prevention first, then recovery and finally,
recycling - as a starting point. Additional filters of economic
value and feasibility were incorporated to understand the
potential for scaling solutions.

STANDARDIZED DATE LABELING
Standardizing food label dates, including eliminating visible
"sell by" dates, to reduce consumer confusion
$4547 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

CONSUMER EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS
Conducting large-scale advocacy campaigns to raise awareness and educate consumers about ways to save money and
prevent wasted food.
$4531 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

PACKAGING ADJUSTMENTS
Modifying packaging sizes and designs to optimize consumer
consumption and avoid residual container waste
$3443 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

SPOILAGE PREVENTION PACKAGING
Packaging technologies that actively slow fruit and meat
spoilage through ethylene absorption and other techniques
$2326 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

WASTE TRACKING & ANALYTICS
Providing restaurants and food service providers with data
on wasteful practices to inform behavioral and operational changes
$2282 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

COLD CHAIN MANAGEMENT
Increase the use of direct, point-to-point perishable food shipments from farmers to retailers to reduce the number of stops
a product makes in transit and develop a cold chain certification standard for food carriers
$1816 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

IMPROVED INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
Improvements in the ability of retail inventory management
systems to track an average product's remaining shelf-life
(time left to sell an item) and inform efforts to reduce days on
hand (how long an item has gone unsold)
$1194 /TON IN FINANCIAL BENEFIT

www.supermarketperimeter.com

SP_Apr20.indb 9

APRIL 2020 - 9

4/1/2020 4:55:11 PM


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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 1
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