Food and drink manufacturers and retailers can minimize their environmental impact by working together on sustainable waste management initiatives.
IGD and WRAP reported on a waste reduction project involving UK food manufacturers and retailers working in partnership to improve sustainability in the supply chain.
In 2009 WRAP commissioned IGD to conduct a programme with leading grocery retailers and their trading partners aiming at reducing food and drink waste in the supply chain. The programme was designed to support signatories to the second phase of the Courtauld Commitment and provide a demonstration to the wider industry, highlighting how collaborative working can prevent waste arising while providing commercial benefits.
The programme started in December 2009 and ran through 2010, completing in February 2011. Its main objectives focused on reducing food and packaging waste; finding new working way and business practices across the supply chain; and identifying case studies that showcase the benefits of the project.
On overall the programme has successfully prevented approximately 1,400 tonnes of waste until March 2011, with a further 1,193 tonnes expected to be prevented in 2011-2012.
New ways of working developed by the participants in the programme include especially good communications between the retailer and the supplier teams.
Regular meetings between the retailer and suppliers teams;
Daily communications with suppliers;
More detailed forecasting methods linked to an improved order planning process;
Improved tools to assess underperforming lines and for decision making;
Improved tools to make order amendment more accurate;
Regular touch-points to review progress on a regular basis.
This project has demonstrated that trading partners who work together can reduce the waste that arises at the interface of their trading relations. It is the first project of its kind that has tackled waste reduction through collaborative action along the supply chain. Overall the project would have led to a reduction in waste amounting to around 2,500 tonnes.
Source: eddie newsroom
WRAP report: Reducing food waste through retail supply chain collaboration (pdf)