Shoprite Group’s Innovative Approach: Turning Food Waste into Daily Nutrition for 3,000 Cattle

Shoprite Group’s Innovative Approach: Turning Food Waste into Daily Nutrition for 3,000 Cattle

In a groundbreaking initiative towards environmental sustainability, the Shoprite Group has successfully transformed 1,000 tonnes of food waste into animal feed over the last six months. This innovative approach is now providing daily nourishment for up to 3,000 cattle, underscoring the retailer’s commitment to advancing the circular economy.

The process involves repurposing food products returned from Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets, originally destined for landfills, to the Group’s distribution centers in Brackenfell, Western Cape, and Centurion, Gauteng. These products, no longer fit for human consumption, are converted into animal feed, preventing unnecessary waste disposal.

Dried goods such as rice, pasta, maize products, cereal items, flour, chips, snacks, and seeds are now utilized to supplement hominy chop, a byproduct of maize milling, in the Group’s animal feed formula. This innovative approach not only tackles food waste but also ensures the production of high-quality feed for the cattle.

To address the broader issue of food waste, the Shoprite Group employs a hierarchical approach, as explained by Sanjeev Raghubir, Head of Sustainability and CSI for the Group. The focus is primarily on preventing food waste before it occurs, achieved through a thorough review of ordering, replenishment, and ranging processes, coupled with the use of technology and data analytics to pinpoint food waste hotspots.

In the second phase of their strategy, surplus food that remains suitable for human consumption is donated to registered beneficiary organizations. Over the past financial year, these donations impacted 544 beneficiary organizations, serving a remarkable 67 million meals. Only when the surplus food is no longer fit for human consumption is it considered for animal feed eligibility and composting.

The Shoprite Group aims to achieve zero organic waste to landfill by 2025, having already diverted 72,000 tonnes of waste from landfills this year. Raghubir emphasizes, “By embracing this hierarchical waste management model, we have adopted industry-leading practices to reduce, reuse, and repurpose waste.” This transformative approach not only benefits the environment but also exemplifies the Group’s commitment to responsible waste management and sustainability.

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