03 October 2011
Food Waste, Food Poverty And Fareshare
Food waste is criminal, so it is brilliant when you hear or read of charities like FareShare that collect and distribute surplus food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away. FareShare works closely with companies like M&S, Nestlé and Sainsbury's. Food poverty is a big issue that needs to be addressed, while charities that look after people can benefit from any savings made by food charity so they can focus on spending money on areas that are important to them like their staffing. Interesting articles on the BBC website that address waste include the following three: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15141327, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15140518 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-10915739. At Steenbergs, we are lucky in that our product waste is next to zero as our ingredients have long shelf lives and can be stored at room temperature.
So I became a little bemused, and angry, to discover that the local Boots stores, and for all I know all their shops across the country, have been told that all sandwiches beyond their display date must be chucked away. In the past, they could be sold to staff at a discount, which is not great in the first place. But why doesn't Boots give these to charities like the Salvation Army who could make use of these for the benefit of people in food poverty? And does this happen across all Boots stores?
Strange that Boots devotes a big part of their website to Corporate Social Responsibility, but this seems only to be a tick-box exercise to paint an image of caring through showing off how much money they have given, rather than starting from a caring attitude and empathy to other people. When CSR becomes something to be met for bureaucratic reasons rather than from the heart, silly wastes like throwing out sandwiches shows the real soul of the corporation.