Nestlé began working with FareShare in 2005, as part of an ambition to raise greater awareness of food waste and reduce food waste along its product value chain.
Its work in this area is part of Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value strategy and is directly helping the business reach its zero waste to landfill goal. The process that FareShare developed with Nestlé for managing edible surplus represents a best practice example in the manufacturing sector and is now being used across all Nestlé operations.
Through knowledge and skills sharing, Nestlé has also been instrumental in FareShare’s development. For example, in 2006 Nestlé seconded a senior logistics expert to improve FareShare’s food redistribution management systems and to this day Nestlé runs random spot checks every year on our Regional Centres to ensure product traceability.
Nestlé needed to minimise surplus packaged food waste going to landfill but also had to ensure secure disposal of surplus to prevent it re-entering the food chain and posing a food safety risk.
FareShare’s management systems and compliance with food safety & handling regulations meant that we offered a safe and efficient route for Nestlé’s edible surplus. It also answered Nestlé’s desire for increased social value and reduced environmental impact, as the edible food previously going to landfill was now going straight in at the top of the Waste Hierarchy to feed people first.
The surplus management process we have in place with Nestlé represents best practice, not only because of the extent to which it’s embedded into day-to-day operations, but because it sets thresholds for identifying surplus stock as early as possible in its life, to help ensure we can redistribute as much of it as possible.
Andrew Shaw, Head of Demand and Supply Planning, Nestlé UK and Ireland speaking at the FareShare Surplus Food Summit in London on 17th June 2015:
“We aim to identify and distribute stock as soon as possible through the systems that we’ve got in place and the routines that we have embedded inside our organisation. We’re able to identify that stock at least six months out and take various actions to make sure that we mitigate that and give an opportunity to FareShare to take stock which has got significant amount of date on it, allowing them time to plan effectively through to their charity organisations.
“Once suitable stock is identified through the process we tell FareShare how much stock we have, we tell them the brands, the quantity and cases, then they come back to us and tell us how much they want and where they want it. We get a list of depots, quantities of stock and then we make sure that we raise the orders. We then reconfirm with each depot what they’re going to receive and then we deliver it.
“So why does it work so well for Nestlé? It is part of our corporate strategy, creating value for society. It‘s a very simple process, it’s routine and embedded: it’s part of our monthly business planning process. For us working with FareShare has been an easy decision. It is part of our ‘Creating Shared Value’ strategy.”
In the first year alone, Nestlé’s surplus stock entering landfill decreased from 100% (2005) to just 5% (2006), helping Nestlé reach their ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal. Additionally, their disposal costs decreased by almost 40% per pallet.
In 2007, Nestlé and FareShare were awarded the ‘Best Partnership’ award by leading recycling organisation Valpak.
Since the beginning of the partnership with FareShare (2005 – 2016), Nestlé has provided FareShare with 2,800 tonnes of fit-for-consumption food – that equates to 6 million meals worth of food that would otherwise have gone to waste and has been used to feed vulnerable people instead.
The environmental impacts are also considerable. The redistribution of surplus food to FareShare minimises good food going to landfill, to anaerobic digestion or to animal feed and helps reduce carbon emissions.
Nestlé’s resource efficiency has increased as a direct result of working with FareShare. Because Nestlé has created and implemented more enhanced demand planning, they are generating less surplus food across their business.
In 2015, Nestlé introduced an additional distribution model to get smaller deliveries of ambient surplus products to more FareShare sites, so that more charities can benefit from their surplus. Nestlé created a new model whereby the stock is stored in a section of their warehouse, and is distributed to the FareShare network in smaller, more frequent deliveries across more of the UK and over a number of months. This means FareShare can make best use of this important product category, whilst saving warehousing space for products from other food businesses.
FareShare and Nestlé are committed to continuing their partnership. Nestlé is currently developing goals for the next 1-3 years and plans to remain focused on three key areas: food surplus, knowledge & skills transfer and industry leadership.
“The message that I would like to leave you with is that if you’re able to make the choice in your business to work with FareShare, just imagine the collective value that the people in this room could bring to FareShare, the charities and the projects that it supports.” Andrew Shaw, Head of Demand and Supply Planning, Nestlé UK and Ireland.