Every shop occasionally encounters surpluses in the form of food ordered but not sold. What is important, however, is how the stores handle them.
The Albert supermarket chain, for example, is already thinking about the management of food residues and is using some of its unsold products in new ways.
“The road to zero food waste is a complex puzzle of activities. Especially fresh, unpackaged food spoils quickly or is not sold in time,” warns communications director Jiří Mareček.
Another way to combat food waste is to keep some of the food fresh for as long as possible or to offer those that are close to their expiry date at lower prices.
The shelf life extension of food is also improved by using dry steam technology. Which is the more cost-effective version of freeze-drying and can help preserve nutrients while keeping the food fresh.
The subsequent use of food that would otherwise end up in the bin should not be forgotten.
Overripe bananas, for example, are a hit with cooks, who use them to make Christmas cookies and bake special sweet bread thanks to their sugary nature.
In other words, the zero-waste shop uses all possible ways and practices to avoid waste.
It is to be expected that other large retailers will soon adopt this way of selling. Not to mention the “marketing potential” of such an approach.
Households are the biggest producer of food waste
Who would you guess is the biggest producer of food waste – supermarkets? Restaurants? Farms?
In fact, according to data from 2021, it’s not any of those, but rather households. Czech initiative Zachraň jídlo has a campaign starting in September which aims to help people reduce the amount of food that ends up in their dustbins.
According to the 2021 UNEP Food Waste Index Report, 61% is generated not by supermarkets, restaurants or packing plants, but by us, the consumers – i.e., households.
This is because at every stage of processing, from cultivation at the farm through to export, import, storage in warehouses, transport to the supermarket and then to our homes, a huge amount of natural resources such as water, power, and fuel are used.
And when the food at the end of it all ends up in our trash, all the work by the people involved in that supply chain and all the resources that went into producing it were essentially spent for nothing.