Our Work With Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s are long-term partners of FareShare as they co-founded the organisation in 1994 with homelessness charity Crisis. Having supported the launch of FareShare as an independent charity in 2004, they have regularly and consistently delivered surplus produce to FareShare.

The Challenges

Whilst their stores had always been a source of food for FareShare Regional Centres, Sainsbury’s quickly identified that tapping into surplus further up its supply chain could provide greater volumes of ‘fit for purpose’ products, especially fresh food.

The Solution

Sainsbury’s was the first retailer that officially encouraged its suppliers to work with FareShare and authorised them to divert own branded surplus products to our network. Building on that, Sainsbury’s ran a number of events that introduced FareShare to their fresh produce suppliers as well as helping to identify surplus across different temperature categories within their business.

Sainsbury’s currently diverts chilled overs and short dated returns products appearing at Distribution Centres to FareShare that would otherwise have gone back to suppliers. This valuable surplus food is then sent into FareShare Regional Centres in West Midlands and The South West.

Products would normally have to be returned to suppliers, using more road miles and creating more CO2 emissions, with the product needing to be disposed of back at source. Instead, there is now an embedded process within the business that immediately identifies surplus for diversion to FareShare.


FareShare’s partnership with Sainsbury’s is helping the business to reduce the amount of surplus food and the associated costs involved of returning surplus stock back through the supply chain. In addition, Sainsburys works closely with suppliers to encourage the reduction on surplus products appearing, resulting in a more effective and efficient supply chain overall.

Both parties are committed to strengthening the partnership to capture even more surplus products throughout Sainsbury’s business as well as engaging more suppliers supplier base by exploring new and innovative ways to ensure good food is used for its purpose.

In 2011 and 2012, Sainsbury’s and FareShare UK ran two public facing Million Meal appeal campaigns through Sainsbury’s stores asking shoppers to donate one item from their shopping list. The successful events helped collect food for millions of meals.

As the first event of its kind in the UK, The Million Meal Appeal was awarded the prestigious Unilever Enhancing Livelihoods Award at the IGD Food Industry Awards in 2012 as well as the Business Charity Awards for ‘Best Single Project’ in 2011.

Get in touch

If you’re a company with surplus food contact our Food Team to find out more.

T: 020 7064 8911
E: foodoffers@fareshare.org.uk

“FareShare offer businesses safe and secure options (tailored to their needs) for all food products at the end of the food chain.

“FareShare aim to minimise food unnecessarily entering the waste stream and I would therefore like to recommend FareShare to you as preferred route for disposing of surplus Sainsbury’s branded product”

Mike Coupe CEO, Sainsbury’s

Surplus meat from Sainsbury's

Surplus juice from Sainsbury's