In 2013, Asda entered into an innovative partnership with its fresh food suppliers and FareShare, to ensure surplus food benefits charities and community projects across the UK.
In an ideal world, when stock arrives at an Asda distribution centre it is transported to stores. But sometimes more stock than was ordered, or even stock that hasn’t been ordered, is delivered.
As the supplier still owns this surplus stock, retailers are obliged to return it to them. But it’s not a case of simply ‘sending it back’. This process in reverse takes time, incurs costs and road miles. In many cases the food is out of date by the time it reaches the supplier and is therefore no longer suitable for consumption.
In 2013, Asda through close collaboration between suppliers, logistics partners and FareShare introduced an operational process that diverts surplus products appearing at depot level to people in need through FareShare. Anticipating surplus products in the supply chain means that it can be managed more effectively and diverted immediately, rather than continuing further along the supply chain.
Asda worked hard to involve the maximum number of their fresh food suppliers and 3rd party distributors into this scheme and provides a vital logistics solution that ensures direct deliveries to FareShare Regional Centres.
The FareShare-Asda partnership won the 2013 Green Apple Award (Retail Green Champion Category) and was winner of the Oracle Retail Week Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year in 2014 for a project that fights food poverty. In addition, the partnership was shortlisted for both the IGD Award ‘Sustainable Futures’ category award in 2014 and the FDF ‘Sustainability’ award category in 2014.
Another crucial element to the success of the partnership is funding. Since 2012, the Asda Foundation has provided funding to support FareShare’s growth, with the money being directly invested into supporting the development of FareShare’s Regional Centres as well our core operations linked to food acquisition. This help has and will continue to support more great causes than ever before.
Asda also has a major initiative offering transport support for suppliers within their primary network to deliver any surpluses they have from their production sites, unlocking considerable potential volume and overcoming practical and financial barriers to food redistribution.
Over the years the award-winning partnership has evolved to include a wide range of fresh and chilled produce from Asda and its suppliers, as well as its subsidiary, IPL.
This model creates efficiencies through the supply chain, including larger volumes of food dispersed to multiple delivery points across the UK; suppliers do not have to dispose of returns; savings in road miles, CO2 emissions and transportation costs.
The innovative partnership is one of the largest of its kind in the UK grocery sector and offers a simple and practical way for Asda and its suppliers to turn an environmental problem into a real benefit for communities.
From 2013 – 2016, Asda has provided FareShare with 2,195 tonnes of surplus food to redistribute to UK charities and community groups across the country, enough to make over 5.2 million meals for people in need.
If you’re a company with surplus food contact our Food Team to find out more.
T: 020 7064 8911
“Nearly 4 million adults and children in the UK go to bed hungry. Food poverty is a very real problem and it’s getting worse.
“Through our supply chain model and work with FareShare, I’m proud that we’re able to help feed millions of vulnerable people who would otherwise go without.”
Chris Brown, Sustainability Business Director, Asda