The working group on food waste and markdowns met in Dublin on November 12th and 13th. The first day started at Trinity College with some quick introductions and a review of the agenda. The group then had the chance to tour the Tesco Liffey Valley Store, with a deep dive on bakery, store routines, produce and donations. Each zone was hosted by a member of the Tesco team, for example, the bakery deep dive was hosted by the buyer / merchant responsible for Bakery. The group then visited the Food Cloud redistribution hub, with a talk on EU regulation around re-distribution and a tour of the warehouse. The group then reviewed back at the college the site visits to highlight what for them were the ideas that inspired them, the ideas they may reapply and then the gifts of feedback they could give back to Tesco and Food Cloud.
Finally. and in the last formal session, each of the six "sharks" from the waste innovation challenge shared updates on the start ups presented to them at the last meeting in Brussels. Closing the first day was a speed dating exercise, where each participant had three "dates" and where on each date, each shared their respective work plan priorities. This session helped strengthen the network and idea sharing. To make it even more agreeable, a Michelin star chef prepared some appetisers for the dating event, serving spectacular food made from the surplus donated to Food Cloud.
Day 2 kicked off with a highly engaging presentation from Kroger, who shared their journey and key initiatives on reducing food waste & markdowns. This was followed by a "back to university" session lead by Professor Karel Donsaleer of Eindhoeven, where the participants were asked to explore the value of knowing with a strongly educated guess the "grabbing" behaviour of shoppers, do they buy the item presented to them at the front of the shelf and assumed to be the shortest shelf life (assumed on the basis that stores properly rotate the items putting the shortest date life code at the front) or do they grab the items at the back of the shelf and assumed to have the longest shelf life? With a focus on Produce, and an assumed 40% of shoppers buying the items at the front of the shelf, they have proven with Jumbo supermarkets savings in waste of over 8%.
After lunch, the group then received a presentation from a producer, Meade, and learnt how, with imagination and determination, the waste problem can be turned into an opportunity, that in the end will dwarf the size of the original problem. Finally, the group reviewed a research proposal that would look to create an estimate for the true and total cost of food waste.
The working group meetings for 2020 were also announced.
June 24th / 25th - Holland - Host TBC
Nov 18th / 19th - France - Host TBC