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  • Strauss Group reduces food waste through partnership with Leket Israel

Strauss Group reduces food waste through partnership with Leket Israel

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August 2013. In Israel, hundreds of thousands tons of food are wasted each year. As a major food producer, the Strauss Group works with Leket Israel to ensure that food nearing its sell-by dates, but still suitable for eating, reaches the needy. Over 1.8 million people in Israel suffer from and desperately need this food that would otherwise go to waste every day. Thanks to Strauss and Leket Israel for a job well done!

Strauss - reducing food waste BANNER

  • We waste too much food – all of us. Up to 50% of food worldwide is wasted @StraussGroup #crisis

We waste too much food: A recent report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Global Food Report, 2013), describes that, of the 4 billion metric tons of food production every year, up to 50% goes to waste. Waste occurs in different parts of the food supply chain. First, waste is created in the field, when farmers do not harvest crops for a range of reasons, usually related to financial subsidies, or when harvesting is inefficient. Second, waste occurs in storage and transportation throughout the supply chain, especially when food is delivered across borders, and often across continents. In some countries, with some crops, this can reach up to 50% of total production which is lost in transit and storage. In India, for example, the Global Food Report notes that about 21 million metric tons of wheat annually perishes due to inadequate storage and distribution. Thirdly, food waste is created in the marketplace. The complex logistics of retailers results in over 1.6 million metric tons of waste every year of food that has been in retailer logistics systems or on supermarket shelves, and was not sold for reasons of damage or consumer demand. Fourthly, food that is purchased gets thrown away in the home. Estimations are that 30 – 50% of food that we buy gets thrown away. This is because we decide we don’t want to eat it, or because we have overrun the expiry date and don’t want to risk eating something that is not fresh.

The cost to you of food waste: When food is wasted, there is an economic cost and an environmental cost. Overall, the cost of food increases as the entire supply chain is less efficient. We generate an unnecessarily heavy burden on the environment by using resources unproductively, and the effects of this boomerang back to us in terms of climate change impacts which damage agricultural and manufacturing productivity. Poor health in the world which results from poor nutrition due to inadequate food availability also places a strain on healthcare costs in many countries. To combat these effects, we must reduce food waste at source, by managing agriculture and related logistics more effectively and enable appropriate flows of goods to where they are most needed. As food manufacturers, we must ensure that the systems within our control are efficient and, as far as possible, zero waste oriented.

Please do your bit!: How many yogurts, chilled salads, tubs of hummus have you thrown out in your home in the last few weeks? Either they had languished in your refrigerator and overshot their expiry date, or you bought too much and then didn’t need the excess. When this happens, the impact is far greater than the single yogurt that reaches your garbage. Not only have resources been invested in manufacturing, transportation, handling and display in the supermarket, but also, additional resources are expended in order to deal with the waste you create. All this makes our system even less efficient, and ultimately, increases prices to you and damages the environment even more for us all. Please don’t waste any food. In particular, please don’t waste our products, because we want you to enjoy them instead!

Please don’t waste our products, because we want you to enjoy them instead @StraussGroup #waste #reduce

Creating value from edible waste

  • In 2012, we salvaged 1,700 tons of edible chilled food waste and reused it for animal feed @StraussGroup   #waste #reduce

strauss corp responsibility 1

One of the ways we deal with the problem of chilled food waste in Israel is through a system which we further developed in 2012 to reach much higher efficiency levels. Chilled products, if not consumed by their expiration date, must be collected from supermarkets and disposed of in a safe way which complies with environmental regulations. In 2012, we continued to work, as we have in previous years, with a system whereby a contractor collects all our returned chilled products waste (yogurts, chilled salads, bottled dairy beverages etc.) daily from our factories and processes them using a dedicated compressor, separating packaging and edible waste. This process succeeded in extracting around 50% of the edible waste. This edible waste was then processed in line with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture regulations to become a raw material for the animal feed industry. In 2012, 1,694 tons of chilled products were collected for reprocessing and around 1,500 tons, 85% of the total, were processed for animal feed. The remainder was routed to safe landfill.

At the end of 2012, we piloted an improved system to increase the level of edible waste retrieval and achieved unprecedented levels of over 90% edible waste extraction. This improved system was fully implemented in early 2013 and we expect that the level of food recycling for use in animal feed will be much higher in 2013.

This process has several environmental benefits, both through landfill avoidance and also, through reduced additional resources required for animal feed preparation.

Improving nutritional security in Israel through food salvage

Leket-latet Strauss pic

In 2012, we diverted 2,102,765 units tons of unsalable food products and donated them to those in need @StraussGroup #waste #reduce

We make an effort to manufacture amounts of foods that meet your demand, no more, no less. This makes financial sense as well as being the responsible thing to do. However, we cannot always predict your demand, and in some cases, things don’t always go to plan, so there are times when we are left with products that are perfectly fit for human consumption and comply with all food safety regulations and standards, but we cannot sell them. In these cases, we route these food items to serve people who can benefit from improved nutrition and food security.

In Israel, hundreds of thousands tons of food are wasted every year. This includes products that have reached their sell-by date, food that is not suitable for marketing (but is suitable for eating) for various reasons, and excess or unmarketable agricultural produce. Over 1.8 million people in Israel suffer from food insecurity and are desperately in need of that same food that goes to waste every day.

Leket Israel National Food Bank and Latet–Israeli Humanitarian Aid, are the two leading non-profit organizations, serving as food banks in Israel. Latet focuses on collecting waste food from manufacturers, while Leket Israel, in addition, rescues excess food from catering establishments including restaurants, hotels and corporate dining rooms, and also maintains a major gleaning operation to harvest agricultural produce that will not reach the market. Both organizations supply this waste to food non-profit organizations throughout Israel who distribute it to people in need. Leket, for example, in 2012, collected 9,360 tons of surplus or unsalable food and in addition, distributed almost 800,000 meals rescued from food establishments, serving thousands of needy people in 95 cities in Israel. In 2012, Latet rescued food to a value of over U.S.$ 10 million. Both Leket and Latet also promote food rescue and food waste awareness in Israel through lobbying, campaigns, and partnerships with corporations.

Both Leket Israel and Latet provide us with an opportunity to handle unsalable food products in a way which benefits our society in Israel as well as benefiting the environment. We are determined that the food waste we generate is put to productive use, rather than simply clogging up our landfills, as far as possible. We donate unsalable food from all our food categories in Israel, including dairy products with near expiry date which cannot be marketed, food products from manufacturing trials, and excess vegetable produce we are committed to buy but cannot use. Both Latet and Leket Israel conform to the highest standards of food safety when salvaging and redistributing our products.

In 2012, we donated 2,102,765 unsalable food items to Leket Israel and to Latet, thereby diverting waste from landfill and more importantly, providing nutrition and delicious food to thousands of Israelis who are unable to meet their food needs without support.

‘Inspiring Corporate Social Responsibility” Award

We were delighted to receive the Inspiring Corporate Social Responsibility award from @Leket_Israel @StraussGroup #waste #reduce

strauss corp responsibility 2a

In 2012, Leket Israel granted this annual award to Strauss Group in honor of our efforts and activities, during the past 7 years, in promoting nutrition and food security among underserved populations through food donations and volunteering. These activities enable Leket Israel to supply fresh food for 140,000 people every week, while preventing large amounts of surplus produce from being discarded, thus reducing waste. In the past 7 years, Strauss has donated about NIS 15 million in products to Leket Israel for Israel’s needy populations.

To view the original post on the Strauss Group’s website, please visit: http://www.strauss-group.com/corporate-responsibility/sustainability-report/responsibility-in-our-industry/reducing-food-waste/

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