Tackling Food Waste

At Samworth Brothers we strongly believe we have a duty and responsibility to ensure that, wherever possible, good food does not go to waste, and that opportunities to create further value from our surplus food should be maximised.

Our journey to prevent good edible food being wasted in our businesses continues and we remain committed to the Champions 12.3* pledge, which speaks to our values and ethos of being a responsible business.

We have further strengthened our commitment by becoming signatories to the IGD/WRAP Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and by pledging our support to Ben Elliott’s (the Government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion) ‘Step up to the Plate’ initiative. This initiative to reduce food waste was launched in 2019.

What we are doing to tackle food waste

In 2017 we committed to reducing the percentage of food waste in our UK operations by 50% by 2030. Here is some of the progress we are taking towards achieving that target:

  • We have taken significant steps to target our hot spot wastes and losses, such as, pastry surplus, bread ends and uncooked bones from our cooked meats process. We currently send 91% of our food waste to anaerobic digestion (AD), due to the high calorific nature of the material. However, we do recognise there is value in repurposing some of this into new products and our teams have been working on some innovative solutions.
  • We have established relationships with approved redistribution partners, and where possible we ensure any surplus finished product goes to feed people. In 2018, we sent 296 tonnes of finished product to The Company Shop, generating 704,957 meals.
  • We sent a further 32 tonnes to FareShare, generating 76,192 meals for people in need.
  • Other actions we’re taking to reduce our food waste include:
  • Sharing our bread surplus with Toast Ale, who use this bread as a raw material to make ale
  • Collecting meat juices from our cooking process to use in stocks and the fat generated from cooking meat to be sent for reuse as biofuel
  • Redistributing surplus raw materials to our on-site restaurants to feed our colleagues
  • Being an active participant of the Food Waste Network, working with academia to increase the value of unavoidable food waste streams
  • We are also working with our suppliers to reduce our food waste

At the 2015 United Nations General Assembly, countries of the world formally adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 12 seeks to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” The third target under this goal (Target 12.3) calls for cutting in half per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains (including post-harvest losses) by 2030.

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