Lidl Ireland Managing Director J.P. Scally, along with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, has signed the Food Waste Forum Charter as part of the Retail Action Group for Food Waste. This charter sees Lidl commit to reduce food waste through the redistribution of surplus food. As part of the Food Waste Charter, Lidl has pledged to build an awareness and understanding of food waste and its issues as well as promote innovative food waste prevention solutions. The Retail Action Group for Food Waste will work together to gather and share reliable and accurate food waste information, to identify areas for improvement, to measure progress and also to work towards a common methodology to report on Food Waste data in the sector.
The pledge is part of the Retail Action Group on Food Waste established by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to accelerate progress towards meeting targets set by the UN as part of their Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.
In line with the launch of the forum, Lidl has rolled out a national food redistribution programme called Lidl Feed It Back to all 154 stores and 3 warehouses in Ireland which will see food waste reduced through the donation of surplus food to local charities in the communities in which Lidl operates. Surplus food refers to food that is perfectly good to eat but, for one reason or another, cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste. In the case of Lidl Feed It Back, half of all donations made to local charities are fresh fruit and vegetables, meaning that the meals donated to charities and community groups across Ireland by Lidl are healthy, nutritious meals for those that need it most.
Since August 2017, Lidl has been working with FoodCloud to donate surplus food to charities. FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects retailers and suppliers to hundreds of local charities to redistribute surplus food via a software platform. Through this partnership, Lidl has connected with over 250 charities and donated 250,000 meals since the launch in August.