The UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food, Company Shop Group, has today revealed that by working in close partnership with frozen food businesses in 2022, it helped to save more stock from going to waste than ever before.
Since 2020, the Group has seen a 22% increase in the frozen stock it has handled and redistributed for the sector, providing a financial return on otherwise costly waste streams, whilst benefiting people and planet.
The Group works in close collaboration with flagship businesses across the frozen sector, including Birds Eye, Moy Park, Unilever, and McCain to provide bespoke and sustainable surplus solutions which guarantee brand integrity. Further supporting the sector to advance on its ambitious sustainability targets, the Group has recently extended its reach by joining forces with the likes of SFC, General Mills (inc. Haagen-Dazs) and Lotus Biscoff.
To achieve significant progress in the tonnes of food being prevented from waste each year, Company Shop has helped businesses across the cold chain to unlock the social, environmental, and financial potential of otherwise costly waste streams. This includes performing a range of expert technical interventions on surplus stock to ensure it is safe to eat and can reach people’s plates as intended, whilst helping businesses to maximise their assets during an economically challenging time.
Some of the most utilised surplus solutions for the frozen sector in recent years include the relabelling of products for life extensions; handling market delists, seasonal lines and product specification changes; taking food service products, and having own label approval for all retailers.
As one partnership example amongst many, the Group has worked in close collaboration with an ice cream producer to relabel products that were originally destined for international markets, to ensure that the products would meet UK trading standards upon redistribution.
The UK’s frozen food sector is renowned for its innovation, alongside its long-standing commitment to sustainability, with 98% of BFFF members recently declaring this as their top business priority. With the frozen sector forecasted for growth in the coming years, aided by an increase in consumer preferences for the sustainability and affordability of products, Company Shop Group is urging frozen businesses to remain forward-thinking and ahead of the curve when it comes to their resource and waste management processes.
To build on last year’s impressive food waste reduction efforts, Company Shop Group is standing ready to support even more frozen businesses to identify sustainable solutions for their surplus stock which will help to protect profit, people and planet when its needed most. This includes through its commercial redistribution offering via Company Shop – which returned £39million to the industry last year – and by donating stock to its award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, to help transform communities and lives.
Owen McLellan, Managing Director of Company Shop Group, said:
“At Company Shop Group, we are proud of our long-standing history supporting businesses across the frozen food sector with their ambitious sustainability commitments.
“As such, it is excellent to see such a marked increase in the volume of products being saved from waste over the last year, and we are delighted to have worked with businesses across the sector both existing and new to ensure that the high-quality food being produced is reaching people’s plates as intended.
“We know we are still only tackling the tip of the iceberg, however, and so we are actively seeking to work with more businesses within the frozen sector to help identify ways to prevent unnecessary waste, and to provide sustainable surplus solutions where it does inevitably occur. In turn, we can create a more sustainable future by stopping even more food from going to waste, whilst supporting our partners and empowering our communities.”
Rupert Ashby, Chief Executive of the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), commented:
“As a BFFF member themselves, Company Shop Group has supported the sector, including many of our member businesses, to generate positive social, economic and environmental impact through the safe redistribution of food that would otherwise be wasted.
“Reflective of our sector and members’ desire to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation and sustainability, including through collective food waste reduction efforts, it is extremely pleasing to see the increase in food being redistributed and saved from waste through Company Shop Group partnerships over the last year, and the increase in frozen businesses establishing waste management processes for their supply chains.