Morrisons first to donate all unsold food to charity

Morrisons supermarket

Retailer will give all unsold food from its stores to local groups 

2nd November 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Morrisons will give its surplus food to charity instead of throwing it away, the supermarket has announced.

The retailer is the first to make the decision to donate all unsold food to local community groups who will then redistribute it to those in need.

A successful trial in Yorkshire involving 112 of its stores convinced the retailer that the scheme would work UK-wide.

Each of the stores taking part in the trial was able to supply at least four trolley loads of unsold food a week.

Stephen Butts, head of corporate responsibility for Morrisons, said: "The challenge is finding the right community partners to work with. What we have available will vary. Ideally we are looking for groups that can cook the food, meaning they can blend it with food from other sources."

The challenge is finding the right community partners to work with - Stephen Butts

One member of staff in each store will be responsible for working with the charity groups.

Legally, Morrisons is unable to donate food past its use-by date but can offer food that is safe to be eaten and past its best-before date.

It comes after more than 180,000 people signed a petition calling for the UK’s supermarkets to hand over their unsold food to charities.

An estimated 15 million of tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year, at a cost of £5bn.

"Rather than wasting millions of pounds worth of food that is still usable, make supermarkets donate their leftover products that are still safe to eat, to food banks," the petition stated.

"Encourage existing customers to donate towards a delivery service to needy people in their area on the delivery run."

A recent study showed that the UK wastes more food than any other EU country.