Press releases

Waitrose boosts FareShare partnership with funds and volunteers in a supermarket first

Monday 12 June 2017

A further 22 branches will use the IT platform to let local groups know about surplus food

Charities will be offered volunteers and money to buy equipment such as freezers

As Waitrose extends its successful FareShare trial to 25 branches in total this month, it has today announced it will make funds and Partner (employee) volunteers available to local groups using the IT platform to collect surplus food from the retailer.

In a supermarket first, as part of the tie up, groups which collect surplus food will be offered funds from the Waitrose Community Matters (green tokens) scheme which donates money to local good causes, as well as volunteers from its shops.

Through the partnership, FareShare will help organisations make the most of Waitrose money and volunteers, to provide exactly what charities need to maximise support to vulnerable people. This could include funds to buy kitchen equipment or storage, or volunteers to help serve food - going a step beyond simply donating produce.

Since launching the trial in March in three shops initially, an equivalent of 4250 meals have been donated to 12 charities. The FareShare scheme helps shops easily communicate with local groups, letting them know what surplus food is available and when it can be collected.

Laura Strangeway, Sustainability Manager, said 'In the five years we've been donating surplus food prior to these trials, we've found one of the main challenges is letting local charities know what food we have available for them to collect and when. And, with many local groups being very small, they can have limited resources to make the most of the food donations we can offer. The ease of FareShare - coupled with the additional equipment and manpower we're offering - should make it much easier for groups to help many more people in the local community.'

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, the UK's largest food redistribution charity, said 'So far the trial has got off to a great start, with charities lining up to collect good quality surplus food from their local Waitrose store for free. We're delighted by the support Waitrose Partners have shown for the scheme. Quite rightly, they believe there's no reason food should be thrown away when it could go to feed hungry people, and already that food is doing a tremendous amount of good.'


Notes to Editors

If a group that uses food to support people is interested in receiving surplus goods please direct them here.

The three trial branches since March have been Bracknell, Southampton and Sherbourne. The trial has extended to a total of 25 branches, with 10 branches adopting the FareShare IT platform on 12 June and 12 more on 19 June. Subject to the success of the trials, Waitrose plans to extend FareShare to all its branches by summer 2018.
 
The new branches involved:

Branches using the FareShare IT platform from 12 June:
Bath
Cheltenham
Chester
Clifton
Great Malvern
Lichfield
Menai Bridge
Newark
Portishead
Truro

Branches using the FareShare IT platform from 19 June:
Andover
Basingstoke
Edgware Road
Egham
Guildford
High Wycombe
Hove
Milngavie
Sevenoaks
South Woodford
Southend
St Saviour

Waitrose - winner of the Best Food and Grocery Retailer category at Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards - currently has 355 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 65 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East.

FareShare is the UK's largest food redistribution charity, delivering good quality, in date surplus food from the food and drink industry to charities and community groups supporting vulnerable people. The charity ensures only groups who can safely collect, store and prepare food are linked with a local shop. This guarantees all Waitrose surplus food will go to organisations who can safely provide meals to vulnerable people.


Enquiries

For further information please contact:

Laura Blumenthal, Press Officer, Corporate
Telephone: 01344826774
Mobile: 07525271595
Email: laura.blumenthal@waitrose.co.uk