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Automated packing at Ocado's Customer Fulfillment Centre

Online retailer Ocado has revealed near zero food waste figures to beat all other supermarkets in waste reduction efforts.

The company stated 0.02 per cent of food and drink was discarded last year, equivalent to just one in a 6000 food items, attributing their success in tackling waste to their food redistrubution strategy.

Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at Ocado said, “Our business model is built around efficiency and low waste. By continually improving our technology, processes, and our relationships with suppliers, we’ve been able to reduce our food waste to practically zero – I believe we have the lowest total food waste figures in our industry. Now we’re helping customers reduce their food waste at home too, by giving them more time to keep fresh food in the fridge.”

The online retailer packs every bag of shopping in one of their three warehouses that use advanced technology, called Customer Fulfilment Centres. Fresh food can arrive directly from suppliers and be sent out for delivery in as little as five hours.

Chilled food is kept at the correct temperature, from supplier right up to the customer’s doorstep, which also helps keep products fresher for longer.

Helen White, special advisor on household food waste at the advocacy group WRAP, said: “Ocado’s approach to driving down food waste in their supply chain has resulted in impressively low food waste figures. By guaranteeing product life, providing customers with clear information and using innovative packaging solutions they are helping us all to do our bit to drive down food waste too.”

Over seven million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year, with more than half down to households and consumers. Ocado said it donated 2,200 tonnes in 2017 alone by linking up with 17 food partners; food banks, charities, organisations and animal parks to distribute unsold produce.