• The supermarket Iceland has partnered with OLIO to help reduce food waste and share surplus food in the community for free as the cost of living continues to increase
  • People who download the OLIO app will be able to find Iceland food items that are nearing the end of their shelf life and get them for free with the help of OLIO’s ‘Food Waste Hero’ volunteers
  • Almost 1,000 Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores across the UK will supply surplus food via OLIO with the initiative being welcomed by WRAP
  • Iceland redistributed the equivalent of more than two million meals (over 2.3m) last year via its partnerships with community organisations and aims to significantly increase this in 2023 with OLIO 

On Tuesday July 4th Iceland launched its partnership with OLIO, the UK’s number one local sharing app, to stop surplus food from going to waste by re-distributing it amongst communities across the UK as the cost of living increases.

Following a successful pilot scheme that took place last year across selected Iceland stores – which saw over 4,000 meals redistributed amongst 240 local families – the announcement builds on Iceland’s current food waste reduction programme that has redistributed the equivalent of more than two million meals (over 2.3m) last year.

People who download the OLIO app will be able to find Iceland food items nearing the end of their shelf life in their local Iceland stores and get them for free. The system works with the help of OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes – a network of more than 50,000 trained volunteers – who visit Iceland stores and other UK food retailers to collect surplus food, take it home and upload to the OLIO app, ready to collected by those living nearby. This scheme is being implemented in line with WRAP, FSA and Defra’s recently published best practice on food redistribution after best  before date.

In total, nearly 1,000 Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores will supply surplus food to OLIO’s Food Waste Heroes, with the partnership rolling out over the next nine months.

Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “Reducing food waste continues to remain a high priority for Iceland and one that our new partnership with OLIO will support.

“However, this partnership will also provide access to free food across the UK at a time when the cost of living continues to increase. We are proud to team with OLIO and hope that Iceland customers see the benefit.”

Tessa Clarke, co-founder and CEO of OLIO, said: “Our community of users will be thrilled to see Iceland’s products now available via the OLIO app. We’ve always shouted about freezing food as a way to fight food waste, and we hope this partnership with Iceland will be the beginning of more awareness raising about how your freezer can help the planet and your pocket.

“Fighting food waste is crucial in protecting the future of our planet and this partnership with Iceland will not only mean that more perfectly edible food is prevented from heading to the bin – but that thousands of people across the UK will be able to enjoy their Iceland favourites at no cost during a time when so many people are feeling the effect of the cost of living crisis.”

Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, said: “We are delighted that Iceland and OLIO, both Courtauld Commitment 2030 signatories, have taken this important step to ensure more good food goes to feed people.  A Best Before date should not signal the end of life for any food, but sadly surplus food nearing a Best Before date is still not redistributed as often as it could be. Foods with a Best Before date applied are still good to eat beyond that date and we encourage people to use their judgement and check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for more tips on how to reduce food waste, save money and fight climate change.”

Iceland has a series of surplus food collection arrangements with local charities across the UK and the new partnership with OLIO will complement these existing partnerships.

For further information on Iceland’s plastic reduction progress to date, please visit sustainability.iceland.co.uk.

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