In collaboration with B.C.-based organizations FoodMesh and Loop Resources and in partnership with Food Banks BC, 86 Save-On-Foods stores are diverting 100 per cent of their unsalable perishable foods from landfills.
The Save-On-Foods food recovery program diverts food that’s unsalable but perfectly safe to consume to local food banks and other participating non-profit organizations, while other food not safe for human consumption is provided to family farms for animal feed and compost.
“We have been composting perishable waste where possible for a number of years, but we knew we could do better,” said Darrell Jones, president of Save-On-Foods. “We started the ball rolling on diverting our surplus food from landfills with a single store in February of 2018, and from there, worked on three simultaneous pilot projects in collaboration with Food Mesh, Loop Resources, and members of Food Banks BC to ensure we had a scalable and sustainable solution that allowed us to confidently state our first target.”
“Since then, we’ve rolled this out to the point that more than half of all our stores diverting 100 per cent of their perishables, 100 per cent of the time. This solution was grown here in British Columbia, and we are confident it will work across the country. We have created a process that can track and measure surplus food and how it’s put to better and higher uses. This is a great first step in our ultimate goal of being a zero-waste company, and we are able to leverage the insights from the process to help us reduce surplus and potentially wasted food in the first place.”
Save-On-Foods announced on Friday that an additional 35 stores will be food waste free by the end of the year.
“This new goal furthers our commitment to ensuring all unsaleable food in our operation is put to the best and highest use,” said Jones.
Save-On-Foods has provided more than 500,000 free meals to families in need across Western Canada since the beginning of the year.
“With close to 1.5 million metric tonnes valued at close to $6.4 billion dollars of surplus edible food wasted each year in B.C. and close to 100,000 individuals struggling to put food on the table, perishable food recovery with our partner, Save-On-Foods has been a true game-changer for food banks in B.C.,” said Laura Lansink, Executive Director, Food Banks BC. “Now fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy are made available to every person at risk of hunger rather than ending up as waste.”
Save-On-Foods Creston is diverting its edible perishable foods to Creston Valley Gleaners Food Bank, inedible perishable to local farmers for livestock and the remaining perishable foods to compost.