Updated: Jun 29
German retailers Aldi, Lidl, Kaufland and Rewe Group have signed the 'pact against food waste' at an event with the country's minister of Food & Agriculture, Cem Özdemir in Berlin.
The retailers have pledged to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
The pact includes several agreements, including a commitment to expand the transfer of goods that are still edible to non-profit organisations, among others.
'Optimise' the fight against food waste
Dr Daniela Büchel, member of the management board at Rewe Group - Human resources and Sustainability said, "We expressly welcome the pact initiated by Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir. Because, even though we have built up a very effective system in the fight against food waste over decades, we would like to further optimise it.
"We will primarily use the remaining amounts through the expansion of cooperation with the food banks and similar facilities. An ambitious goal in view of an average sales rate of 98% and the already very high level of cooperation between our Rewe and Penny stores."
Aldi plans to act on the principle of 'avoid - donate - dispose', ensuring responsible handling of returns, and training employees in the sales outlets.
Responsible food handling
Claudia Kinitz, director of Corporate responsibility/quality assurance at Aldi Nord stated, "With our signature, we once again underline that Aldi takes its ecological and social duties of care seriously. Responsible food handling is in our discounter DNA."
Dr Julia Adou, director of sustainability at Aldi Süd, added, "With the target agreement, we are creating even more visibility for the issue of food waste. "Even though we can already see many positive developments as a result of our intensive measures in recent years, we will not stop here and will exploit further opportunities to save food together with our suppliers and customers in the future."
The measures include close cooperation with suppliers, a needs-based merchandise management system and discounts, customer awareness of food rescue, and passing on the surplus to charities.
Preventing 'Food Loss'
“As a food retailer, we are aware of our responsibility to prevent food loss. We are therefore pleased that the goals we have worked out together with the other members of the dialogue forum over the past few years are now being put into practice with the signing of the 'Pact Against Food Waste'," said Christoph Graf, purchasing manager at Lidl in Germany.
Jochen Kratz, managing director of Kaufland southwest region added, "Food is a valuable commodity that we should show the appreciation it deserves. As a food retailer, together with our employees and other market participants, we have the opportunity every day to change the way we deal with food in a sustainable way - we can only achieve this together."