Nov 12th, 2019
4 mins


Company Shop Group has been awarded £1.96m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of Defra’s commitment to significantly reduce the amount of food unnecessarily going to waste in England. The Group will use the funding to support its new Harnessing Harder to Reach Surplus project, aided by the creation of a new, specialist team of surplus intervention experts.

With a heritage spanning five decades, the Group is home to Company Shop stores and award-winning social enterprise Community Shop. Community Shop sells high-quality, low-cost surplus food to local members who are receiving welfare support. Revenue raised from the sale of food is then invested into the onsite Community Hub, where the team engages and connects with every member who comes through the doors. Here, members can access personal development support, with everything from debt advice and employability skills, to cook clubs, mentoring and home budgeting. The profits from the HHRS project will be invested into, Community Shop, to continue to expand its positive social impact.

How can this funding help?

  • Offer a commercial return to create sustainable surplus solutions
  • Multiple routes to market to maximise redistribution of different types of surplus
  • Provide solutions that protect your brand integrity
  • Technical compliance by a BRC food accredited business
  • Help support positive social impact delivered by social enterprise Community Shop
  • Help meet the commitment to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

The Group’s trailblazing HHRS project is aimed at rescuing, re-purposing and redistributing the harder to reach surplus from higher up the supply chain. It provides a solution that no other redistributor can, addressing the complex interventions necessary. This is valuable surplus stock that has not been redistributed, until now, due to the cost and complexity of accessing it.

This is a sustainable solution to cover costs associated with:

  • Labour
  • Packaging
  • Transport
  • Equipment
  • New routes to market
  • Lost income (from waste stream recovery)

Company Shop Group is already working with several retailers and manufacturers in their supply chain. However, opportunities remain for other businesses to benefit before the end of the project in March.


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