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24 October, 2012

Waitrose achieves zero food waste to landfill ahead of target

Award winning partnership with Cawleys extended to all UK branches


Waitrose has achieved its aim of sending zero food waste to landfill, with the announcement that all 280 of its UK branches will send food waste which is unfit for consumption for recycling from this week. The supermarket initially set itself the goal of achieving this by the end of 2012, but has done so three months earlier than planned.

Waitrose was the first supermarket in the UK to send food waste to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) in 2008 through its award winning partnership with Cawleys, a Luton based resource management company, and this achievement signals its continued investment in sustainable resource management.

The move follows Waitrose announcement in July this year that it is also enabling all of its branches to donate surplus food within their local community by the end of the year. Waitrose has also cut food waste through campaigns such as using damaged fruit and vegetables in its Partner dining rooms, and promoting weather damaged produce to its customers in support of British farmers.

Cawleys, which was the first waste management company in Britain to offer a commercial food waste recycling service to AD, the ‘gold standard’ in food recycling technology, will continue to utilise AD as a sustainable alternative to landfill for all Waitrose branches in the UK, alongside the use of In Vessel Composting (IVC) where AD is not an option.

Working with the wider John Lewis Partnership, the Cawleys team will also increasingly manage the food waste for John Lewis stores.

Waitrose Recycling & Waste Manager, Mike Walters, said: “Of course it’s not in our interest to produce any food waste at all, which is why we work hard to minimise it in the first instance. Inevitably we generate some surplus food, and where it is not fit to be donated to the local community, AD has proven to be a sustainable way of eliminating the need to send it to landfill, reducing our impact on the environment and creating renewable energy along the way. It is an exciting time for the company as we extend our work with Cawleys to our remaining UK shops, helping us achieve our target of zero food to landfill.”

Cawleys Sales Director Tony Goodman commented on the extended contract: “Working with Waitrose we have led the way in food waste recycling for UK supermarkets, and it’s exciting to help Partners across all Waitrose stores achieve their target of sending zero food waste to landfill. With an increasing number of AD plants available to companies even more food waste can be diverted from landfill, a sustainable as well as cost-effective decision that more companies should be taking in the future.”

-Ends-

About Waitrose

Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket*, has 280 shops in the UK and a further five in the Channel Islands, and is consistently achieving sales growth significantly ahead of the market**. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, an unmatchable top tier of products and free delivery for online shopping, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods. Waitrose own-label ranges accounts for 54% of sales. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service. www.waitrose.com.

* Which? Annual Supermarket Satisfaction Survey, Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer at Verdict's annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards; Favourite Supermarket at Good Housekeeping Awards

About Cawleys

Cawleys is an innovative waste management and recycling company at the forefront of new waste management and recycling initiatives. Its company ethos is ‘local recycling, global responsibility’. Cawleys provides total waste management solutions for the smallest office or retailer to the largest industrial sites, helping businesses move closer to zero landfill.

Through its national environmental consultancy arm WasteSolve, Cawleys delivers waste audit and analysis services, plus a suite of management and staff engagement solutions to help businesses achieve the highest environment waste management standards.

For more information contact:

Suzanne Hetherington
Senior Press Officer, Corporate
t:01344 82 4006
f:01344 82 5211
e: suzanne_hetherington@waitrose.co.uk