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Fighting Food Waste

Supporting Surrounding Communities 2014 | Supporting Surrounding Communities

As food specialists, we are constantly concerned with fighting food waste, seeking to be more efficient in the usage of raw materials while endeavouring to promote social cohesion and breaking the cycles of poverty and malnutrition.

Supporting Surrounding Communities
Supporting Surrounding Communities 15,500 tons of food recovered and in-kind donations amounting to 14 million euros in 2014.

The Challenge

In Portugal, 360 thousand people starve every day and over 100 kilograms of food per person is wasted every year. The Jerónimo Martins Group realised that it could contribute to mitigate this scourge both upstream and downstream of its store and logistics operations.

The Approach:

With all the links of the supply chain - farmers, manufacturers, stores and community - working together for a common goal, food waste can be avoided not only by utilizing "ugly vegetables" (non-standardized) but also through donating food that can no longer be sold in stores.

In the farming fields, non-standardized vegetables that used to be set aside are now taken to manufacturing units to be washed, cut and packed. They come out of the factory as:

- ready-to-eat salads to be sold at Pingo Doce's stores

- raw material that is shipped to the Pingo Doce's Odivelas Central Kitchen to be utilized in the production of soups that are to be made available in the Take-Away sections of Pingo Doce stores throughout the country.

According to farmers that partner with the Group in Portugal, around 15% of vegetables that were left on the field are now being used as a result of this operation.

Downstream of Pingo Doce's store operations, there is another fighting food waste front that translates into the support to surrounding communities.

At the end of the day, a screening is made in the stores to select  products that, despite being good for consumption, should not be sold to customers. This selection process is conducted by employees that deliver the goods to charities that come every day to the stores for pick up. Later on, these institutions distribute the food among those who need it most.


The Outcome:

Farmers make use of vegetables for transformation into ready-to-eat- soups and salads maximizing what was once left behind in the field and more than 400 stores of the Group's Companies in Portugal made in-kind donations of 12 million euros in 2013 to more than 600 charities.

in 2014, the use of non-calibrated products and donations to charities summed-up to 15,500 tons of food that was recovered and total in-kind  donations amounted to 14 million euros.