Stop Food Waste
Our commitment to nourish and nurture a better tomorrow – has naturally led us as a food and beverage company to address the issue of reducing food waste.
Food waste is an economic, social, and environmental problem. It is estimated that the value of food not eaten and thrown away in the world is worth about $172 billion a year; environmentally, food waste is the cause of about 6-8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions; in addition to that, today, there are over 800 million people. Women, boys, and girls do not have easy access to food, and 1 in 9 is malnourished.
The concept that leads us to invest in the subject is that we love food. We have invested love in it, though, development, raw materials, and working hours – a valuable, environmental and economic investment – and our ambition is that as many people as possible will enjoy it.
Our efforts occur throughout the Strauss Group’s operations and logistics warehouses worldwide; processes are initiated to examine destruction’s dimensions and prevention. For example, in our warehouse in Virginia, USA, inventory management in our warehouses has undergone a dramatic change in recent years. In 2017, about 85% of the short-term inventory was destroyed, and only 14 percent was saved and donated. , And only 19 percent went out to extermination, and the number continues to decline.
Over the years, Strauss has been donating food that did not go on sale – whether due to changes in supply and demand in stores, which changed according to consumer behavior, such as during the COVID-19 crisis – when buying habits changed unexpectedly, and products had less need than before. We donated it through the organization “LATET.” Also, if there is a defect that prevents us from selling but does not harm the quality of the product, for example – if a packaging came out unclear or we got a little too much whipped cream in our Milky – we will donate the product.
All our donations are reported in the Sustainability Report, and food technologists monitor the quality of the products.
Food loss happens in every part of the food chain, from the field to the personal consumption stage, and 40% of food waste happens in homes. However, a significant percentage can be saved at earlier steps along the chain. In 2020, we organized a team at Strauss Israel to address the challenge of food waste. The team’s work was added to our long list of work for saving food from the company’s warehouses in Israel and abroad, our contributions to the community, quality assurances, and improved logistics management.
Local activity in Israel to reduce food waste:
our team at Strauss Israel carefully examined the overall impact of Strauss on food rescue and decided to act on two levels – prevention and recovery.
Prevention: According to the Israeli Food Loss Report, it was found that one of three main reasons for food loss at the distribution and retail stage – is the expiration date, after the food leaves our factories and is in stores. According to the report, about 20% of customers do not understand the meaning of text written on the packaging.
The team found confusion among customers, most of whom do not understand the difference between “better to use before” versus “use until.” The text is intended to fulfill the law that distinguishes between “use until” indicating products with risk to food safety – meaning the product will go wrong and endanger consumers’ health shortly after the expiration date.
Compared to “better to use before” on dry products, which indicates that their properties may change in color and taste, but the product is entirely safe to eat. In addition, to avoid waste, we are constantly looking for advanced technologies, machines, or advanced packaging that allows us to extend validity while maintaining high quality and preventing food waste.
For example, in the transition to plastic bottles in our milk and chocolate products, we have invested in an advanced set that keeps a sterile Inflation and filling. This change allowed the same milk to have a significant extension to days of use and shelf life – more days of use means a higher consumption chance before the expiration date, thus reducing the likelihood of discarding the product before consumption.
Another move that Strauss initiated is the food rescue pilot with the Yochananoff chain and organization “LATET” in 2021.
The employment agreements between Strauss and certain food chains stipulate that if the chain does not sell a product it bought from Strauss, it can qualify it with Strauss.
Many products were returned by stores without a valid date causing the products to be destroyed. As part of the pilot, in several stores of the Yohannoff chain, the products are removed from the shelf by an employee a few days before their expiration date. When Strauss qualifies the store to the “return,” it transfers the edible products to a local organization that works in partnership with “LATET” on the same day.
See more information about the pilot:
The ability of every one of us to contribute to reducing waste is great, in the buying process, in creative cooking ideas, by innovatively using products and their packages – to look, smell, taste – and not waste.
I invite you to share with us your food storage tips and recipes for saving food.