Food waste reduction roadmap for Woolworths

The challenge

Supermarkets in Australia play a critical role in the food supply chain and are the primary source of food for individuals to consume in their homes. They have developed very sophisticated global supply chains that provide consumers with a consistent supply of safe, healthy, fresh and affordable food.

Reducing the amount of food waste will lower the direct and indirect costs involved for supermarkets and supply chain partners, as well as improve product availability and quality in-store. It will also increase the utilisation and value to the community of surplus food and food waste.

Keeping food waste out of landfill will provide environmental and social benefits to society, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the unnecessary use of natural resources.

Our plan

Woolworths is Australia’s largest supermarket chain with over 1,000 supermarket stores and close to 200,000 team members. It has made a public commitment to reduce the amount of food waste it sends to landfill with a food waste diversion program in 100% of its stores.
 
This commitment means that local charities receive surplus food through food rescue organisations. It can also go to local farmers for animal feed or to commercial organic contractors for processing into green energy, or fertiliser.
 
In addition to store-level initiatives, Woolworths is working further up the supply chain with suppliers on the development of products such as The Odd Bunch range. Through effective packaging and transportation, Woolworths aims to get the right amount of food on the shelf at the right time at the right price. This is so consumers get optimal freshness and the most value out of their purchases.
 
Woolworths will start this project by consulting with stakeholders and supply chain partners who have a role to play in reducing food waste. They will also focus on in-store food waste source separation and diversion activities.
 
This project brings Woolworths together with global food waste reduction expert Mark Barthel, Fight Food Waste CRC Special Advisor – Food Waste. Mark will work with Woolworths to lead the development and implementation of a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with opportunities across their farm-to-fork value chain.
 
The Woolworths Food Waste Reduction Roadmap will identify priority areas to address for Woolworths and their stakeholders and supply chain partners, as well as robust monitoring, evaluation and reporting. The project will include the delivery and assessment of priority initiatives identified in the Roadmap in collaboration with stakeholders from relevant functions within Woolworths and supply chain partners as required.
 
 

 

As this project progresses and achieves its milestones, we’ll share the good news on this page by adding information, links, images, interviews and more.

Project information

Please download our project information sheet.

Timeline

August 2019 – July 2023

Project leader

Simon Tracey, Woolworths

Participants