Nov 11 2022

Influencing responsibility: The industry suppliers fighting food waste

Written by Orderly Marketing
Food being reused in a pan

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group Chief Executive recently wrote an article about the urgent need to pick up the pace to solve the food waste epidemic. He stated, “if we continue to waste good food at current levels, it will fatally undermine our ability to tackle the climate emergency.” But the key takeaway for us was his follow up;

 “Supermarkets can’t solve this issue alone. Our supplier partners are critical to this mission, and we need to take them with us on this journey.”

It’s true tackling all sources of the food waste problem cannot be addressed by one group, person, or stakeholder. As part of the tech for good industry, we wanted to share just a handful of suppliers in the space, working to eliminate food waste alongside us at Orderly.

FareShare – for major brands looking to avoid waste of short-shelf life foods

FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 18 independent organisations. Together, they take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to nearly 9,500 frontline charities and community groups. The food reaches charities across the UK, including school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes. Every week FareShare provide enough food to create almost a million meals for vulnerable people!

FareShare Go provides charities and community groups with direct access to surplus food from local supermarkets, including Tesco, ASDA and Waitrose & Partners, and wholesaler Booker. If you’re wasting food with damaged packaging or a short-shelf life, this might be an option to look at.

OLIO – for local businesses wanting to share food with the community

OLIO is a community food sharing app, and Tesco have worked with them to redistribute more than 18 million meals since 2019. It was founded by Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, who have an interesting story! Saasha was born to what she calls ‘Iowa hippy entrepreneurs’ (hence the origin of her created last name, Celestial-One) – and grew up being taught that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’

Tessa was packing up an apartment in Switzerland and was frustrated with her leftover food that was going to go to waste. She set off around the neighbourhood, armed with the food to find someone to give it to.

Together, they formed the app to connect businesses and households who have surplus food with their neighbours, so it can be shared for free rather than being thrown away.

They can arrange to recruit and train a team of volunteers who will collect your surplus food on a regular basis, with a nominal fee per collection.

Warrens – for turning commercial food waste into biogas

This business work with commercial operators and food producers large and small across the UK to collect even wheelie bin sized vats of food waste, before converting it into clean energy products such as heat, electricity, transport fuel and biofertilizer. This is all done in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly way through a process of anaerobic digestion. a natural biological process within a fully sealed, air free environment here millions of bacteria ‘feed’ on the organic fraction of the waste to produce a methane rich ‘biogas’.

Vegware – for on site composting

If you could have a use for compost – turning your active food waste into mulch could be a great end to end solution. Vegware can shred and de-water food waste in a macerator, before combining it with other green waste and wood chips into a composter so in as little as 14 days, you have high-quality mulch to use on-site. This could be a smart way for you to vastly reduce waste collections and produce your own soil improver, and as Vegware also make eating utensils and packaging, the composting solution can mulch these too.

Waste 2.0 by Mechline – for turning waste into safe waste water

Digesters are a way of extracting food waste and turning it into grey wastewater that’s safe for sewers and drains and the One Waste2O module can digest up to 180 Kg of organic food waste in 24 hours.

This method removes food from landfill and cuts down on truck collections of waste. The magic is in the microorganisms, which digest food waste while starting the breakdown of fats, oils & grease (FOGs). The general rule is that if a human can eat the food, the machine will process the food!

Change works – For low carbon waste collection

While ideally suited to city centre operations, collecting food waste has had a facelift with Change works, whose vehicles are designed to run on biofuels – with plans to move their entire fleet to 100% renewable electric. Food waste is turned into good quality fertiliser, energy for space heating and converted into biogas to fuel vehicles, and with the ability to see your carbon footprint, this could be a great area to investigate if you still need collections. – for tackling and reducing the root cause of food waste at the source

For over a decade Orderly have provided business-critical supply chain technology to a range of enterprises. helps food and beverage business to identify their food waste hot spots, so they can be eliminated at the source. By offering the Orderly scorecard (available separately or as part of their award winning SaaS inventory management platform), managers can benchmark their progress and find solutions to reduce their food waste. The Orderly scorecard uses AI recommendations to suggest ways to reduce waste and increase sustainability to each stakeholder in your supply chain.

The scorecard contains three things the manager is doing well to reduce waste, two things they can improve upon, and one overall score.

Recommendations and scores are generated weekly – if each person makes just a small change to their behaviour the benefits over time to your organisation will be exponential. It’s perfect for all kinds of food and beverage businesses and is designed to make significant changes in the long term.

What suppliers have been key to your food waste reduction journey? We’d love to know who’s making an impact for your business. Please join the conversation on LinkedIn!