As an international wholesaler, METRO has been committed to reducing food waste to a minimum for many years, both in its business operations and through external cooperations. Avoiding food waste is thus a central component of the company's sustainability strategy. METRO has made a global commitment to reduce food waste generated in its operations by 50 percent by 2025. The central pillar for implementing this goal is partnering with the METRO countries' food banks. The German Tafel organisation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. In addition, the wholesaler has been a new partner in the Futury innovation and sustainability network since August 2023 to explore new ways to optimise procurement.
"For METRO, trading in food is an economic asset and a social responsibility - sustainable food handling is our top priority," said Ivonne Julitta Bollow, senior vice president of corporate responsibility and public policy.
Metro has worked actively with food bank organisations for over two decades. This helps Metro to avoid food waste and, at the same time, support people in need.
"But we are also entering into new collaborations to bring about sustainable change through acting in partnership."
Since August of this year, METRO has partnered with Futury's 'The Mission Food' programme, which is working specifically on how food loss and waste can be reduced at the beginning of the METRO value chain using artificial intelligence.
The food banks in Germany are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. With 970 food banks, over 2,000 distribution points and around 60,000 committed, 95 percent volunteer helpers, they contribute to reducing food waste. METRO cooperates with food banks in 19 countries, and the national organisations work closely with the local food banks.
"METRO Germany has been donating surplus food to the local food banks across the country for 27 years: in the financial year 2021 and 2022, these donations corresponded to around 18.7 million meals. All METRO locations in Germany work closely with the respective local Tafel organisations," said Jeanette Hütten, Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability at METRO Germany.
In addition, METRO has also been cooperating internationally with TooGoodToGo since 2018 to combat food waste. The organisation cooperates with METRO wholesale stores in 3 countries. The app of the same name offers surplus food at reduced prices. Users can then pay directly via the app and pick up their food on-site in the specified time window. In this way, surplus food is sold instead of being thrown away.