Company Shop Group has revealed record-breaking annual redistribution figures, with 41,445 tonnes of food saved from going to waste in the last year alone – the environmental equivalent of taking 28,000 cars off the road.
As part of Food Waste Action Week, the Group unveiled its latest impact figures during its ‘Making a Difference Together. Differently’ event which brought together partners from across the industry. Here, the Group streamed its first ever annual impact film, recognising the significant social, economic and environmental value achieved over the last 12 months through sustainable commercial and social redistribution routes.
Amongst the headlines, Company Shop Group announced it had saved 109 million items from needlessly going to waste in 2022, including 10.9 million items from non-food categories. Achieved through the Group’s national infrastructure and unrivalled technical capabilities, the last year also saw over 18 million products relabelled, and 3.1 million bottles saved from waste through its bottle wash technology.
The Group once again increased the revenue it created for the industry, returning a further £39m to partners for the purchase of surplus stock. Over the last decade, £200 million has been paid back, money that would otherwise have been lost but instead can be reinvested in the industry.
With the cost-of-living challenges continuing, the ongoing financial pressures on businesses throughout the supply chain, combined with Food Waste Action Week’s clear call for households and businesses to do more to reduce waste, Company Shop Group is urging the industry to continue challenging its thinking to see and realise the value of surplus stock.
“The figures we’ve released in our Impact Report show the true scale of what can be achieved when the industry comes together to take a sustainable and innovative approach to surplus,” said Owen McLellan, Managing Director at Company Shop Group. “This collaboration is delivering positive impact socially, economically and environmentally.
“However, there’s more to do and we know that there remains a significant amount of surplus that is not being redistributed, which could help support even more people and communities. I know the ambition and passion to continue making a difference is strong across the industry, so I’d encourage everyone to think differently about waste and continue to work together so that we can unlock even more surplus and create even greater value for our partners, for people and for the planet.”
Through its Company Shop stores, the Group has maintained its commitment to helping stretched budgets of hard-working families and those most in need, go further, welcoming more members to its stores. Across the year, these shoppers collectively saved over £100 million by accessing products at an average of 53% off the average retail price.
Over the last 12 months, the Group’s award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, has met the soaring demand for its services thanks to a significant increase (46%) in stock donations. Thanks to this support, Community Shop has reached over 28,000 households and generated the equivalent of 6.7million meals.
Community Shop’s powerful combination of access to deeply discounted food and life-changing learning and development initiatives has seen over 26,600 people engage with these programmes and helped 91% of members feel an increased sense of financial stability. Similarly, with more than 20,000 people attending cook clubs, 87% of members reported eating more fruit and vegetables since joining. Since opening, Community Shop has now supported 924 members into employment, and 1,044 into higher education.
“It has been a milestone year for Community Shop, meeting the soaring demand for our support from the communities we serve, thanks to the increase in the amount of surplus stock businesses have generously donate,” said Gary Stott, Executive Chair for Community Shop. “Our latest impact figures demonstrate the immense impact that our sustainable and holistic model delivers, helping to build stronger individuals and more confident communities.
“We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved with our partners and colleagues for our members and communities.
“However, with more stock and more increased industry support we know we can deliver an even greater impact. We will be opening our 11th Community Shop in just a few weeks’ time, and we have more in the pipeline to support people and communities who need it most. We’re therefore looking forward to building on the achievements and partnerships of this year to do even more in the coming months.”