The Scandinavian kingdom has cut food waste by 25% in just five years, thanks to a new approach to damaged and out-of-date food. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.
The Danes have successfully changed the way they look at out of date produce. In doing so, they have reduced the amount of food they throw away by a quarter since 2011.
This achievement is largely down to the efforts of the NGO Stop Wasting Food, founded in 2008 by the activist Selina Juul, who has campaigned to encourage supermarkets to promote products that are close to or beyond their sell-by dates.
While this initiative has been adopted by the majority of Danish chains, the company Wefood has gone one step further. This specialised shop sells only food that is past its sell-by date or whose packaging is damaged.
Wefood has already opened two shops in the Danish capital and is campaigning to raise awareness about its core message: that this food can still be good to eat. All of its products are donated by producers, import-export companies and supermarkets and sold at more or less half their normal price. What is more, all the company’s profits go to charity.
The United Kingdom’s first supermarket for ‘waste’ food opened its doors near Leeds in September. Unlike Wefood, this shop allows customers set their own prices.
In France, the sale of out-of-date produce is also recommended under the environment and energy agency’s good practice guidelines as a way of cutting supermarket waste. But few shops have embraced the practice.