25% of food sold is wasted in the distribution chain. Because it has expired, or because it has not been sold, or simply because there is something wrong with the inventory. To explain how to avoid this waste, EL PERIÓDICO visited an Ametller Origen facility in Barcelona. His work has also been honored with the Paco Muñoz Award Against Food Waste from Mercaparna, one of the few awards in this field.
Not a single potato is wasted, not a single refrigerated cream, not a bag of lettuce… This is the philosophy that has turned the Catalan company Ametller Origen into an example of good practices against food waste. “We work together with entities concerned with fighting waste, from the field to the production line,” says Marta Angieri, Director of European Finance, Public Affairs and CSR at this company.
“On the same property”
The uniqueness of Ametller compared to the initiatives promoted by other distributors is that “here it actually starts on the farm itself,” explains Angieri. In this case, the company is working with the Esspigoladors Foundation, which delivered more than 16 tons of fruits and vegetables last year, equivalent to a reduction of about 40.4 tons of carbon dioxide.
Ametller, which has a network of 140 stores, also has its own fields, two restaurants and prepares ready-made dishes (gazpacho, vegetable creams, dairy desserts). “Surpluses from the Olerdola workshop are given to social entities,” Angiri continues to explain. In 2022, for this concept, for example, more than 70,400 kilos of products were donated, with an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to 176.1 tons.
The process is completed in stores. “One measure that works best is to offer 25% discounts on products that have a close expiration date,” says the Ametller manager. In 2022, 281,964.20 kilograms of these fresh, nearly finished products were sold, with a value of approximately 3.4 million euros. “Every morning, first thing in the morning, and in the afternoon, first thing in the morning as well, the staff checks products and takes them to the refrigerator that have already been identified as close to expiration,” he says. Customers already know they have to consume it quickly.
At around 7pm, packages are also prepared and distributed through the Too Good to Go app. “Since 2020, when the agreement with them began, we have produced 778,000 bottles and have thus avoided the emission of nearly two million kilograms of carbon dioxide,” highlights Angieri. Ametller is, by far, the first retailer of this popular app.
“In addition, but not least, we also deliver fresh and chilled foods to different social organizations such as Cáritas, Red Cross, Cuina Altem or Food Bank; they are usually from the same neighborhood where the stores are located,” notes.
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