The convenience store retailer has been addressing food waste and food poverty head on for many years. Since 2021, the company and its customers have collectively donated one million equivalent foodbank meals through various partnerships and initiatives.
As a retailer with a significant presence in the grocery sector, One Stop believes in reducing the prevalence of both of these food related issues. The company as a whole believes it can have a truly positive impact and is doing this by building strong partnerships with leading UK charities and organisations that seek to combat these issues. The three key partners of the retailer in this area are FareShare, OLIO and Too Good To Go.
All three of these organisations are aligned in their goal to help combat food poverty and save as much food as possible from being wasted. However, all take a slightly different approach to this, with FareShare being the UK’s biggest food redistribution charity, providing food for vulnerable people and families in many communities across the country.
With more than 10% of the UK’s population experiencing food insecurity, the relationship One Stop has formed with FareShare is highly relevant and impactful. With customers donating food throughout the year to the charity, with collection points available in all One Stop stores. FareShare will then redistribute this to local charities throughout the UK. One Stop also fundraises and donates to FareShare, with campaigns running throughout the year. The company has donated and raised nearly £100,000 over the last year alone for the charity.
OLIO and Too Good To Go are two organisations bringing a very technology focused approach to these issues, by offering local communities’ food close to its sell by date on their apps. This is where One Stop and other retailers come in and play a role, by providing the food for these apps, which people in the local community can then access. OLIO is a free sharing app where local “Food Waste Heroes” collect the surplus food from stores and then redistribute it to their local community using the app. The Too Good To Go app on the other hand offers people in the community the chance to purchase a variety of surplus food at a heavily discounted rate through “Magic Bags”.
To ensure that these partnerships are as co-ordinated as possible, One Stop implemented an initial trial with both of the app-based partners, beginning this last year, with the trial running for 3 months across 130 One Stop Stores. The surplus food saved during that trial alone was the equivalent of 7,000 food bank meals. The success of the trial convinced the convenience retailer to role this out across all of its stores.
The trial was an opportunity for One Stop to develop internal processes, to make sure that food collections either by customers or volunteers ran as smoothly as possible. This has involved employee training and in June 2022, One Stop created a surplus food waste process. This new approach has allowed the company to effectively manage OLIO and Too Good To Go orders in all 700 company owned stores. To date this process has saved over 20,000 meals through Too Good to Go and over 90,000 meals via OLIO.
Neil Thomas, One Stops Head of Transformation said “Over the last couple of years, we have really accelerated our food waste reduction activities. We began our partnership with OLIO and Too Good To Go in 2021. The initial trial was so successful and saved so much food, that we’ve now rolled this out to all our stores. As a company, we believe in the many social and environmental benefits of eliminating unnecessary food waste. The partnerships we have formed will allow us to effectively redistribute this food and strive towards this goal.”
The company has further strengthened its bond with both OLIO and Fareshare, joining their campaign to redistribute 200 Million Meals over the next year. Neil Thomas added “At One Stop, we are proud to be part of this movement. Putting food into the hands of those who truly need it and save it from being needlessly thrown away.” The company’s larger aim of reducing food waste has managed to bring together One Stop employees, customers, charities and partner organisations. With a collective approach that has meant the company has been able to save more than ever and donate a record amount this year.
To help support the initiatives One Stop is running alongside FareShare, look out for the food collection points and fundraising activities running throughout the year across all of their stores. You can also get involved with the company’s food waste reduction initiatives by downloading the OLIO and Too Good To Go apps, available on both Apple and Android devices. With these two platforms you’ll be able to access free or discounted food in your local area from restaurants and food retailers such as One Stop.