27th November 2019
Today I joined ‘a community of 17073117’ by downloading the App “Too Good To Go” onto my phone.
This was to celebrate the arrival of Morrisons’ onto the App- as a supplier of a ‘Market Street Magic Box‘– Morrisons adding their 569+ stores to the 2,861 UK retailers already taking part in the scheme. Morrisons, who run the only value supermarket in Totnes, is tackling waste food and food poverty, by offering a box of mixed foods from their deli, bakery, fruit and vegetable isles, that have gone ‘only just’ beyond the best before date. This box, is charged at £3.09, but ‘will have foods worth over £10 inside’ according to the Store’s press releases, but is sold ‘blind’ customers will not know what it contains until pick-up from the Customer Services desk. Haley Conick, UK Country Manager at Too Good To Go, said: “Every single day perfectly edible food goes to waste simply because it isn’t sold, and this is having detrimental effects on our planet. We need greater awareness of the issue of food waste, so we are delighted to welcome Morrisons as our first UK supermarket partner.”
Customers in Totnes may greatly appreciate this offer- with foodbank use soaring, and wages stagnant, every little does indeed help (thanks Tesco for the use of your slogan!) According to the Independent’s Rosie Clark, “UK food prices have reached their highest rate of inflation in more than five years following the effect of last year’s extreme weather and global cereal cost increases. “
“Too Good To Go” is itself a interesting phenomena- “A community of Waste Warriors fighting food waste together”, via global app that puts customers in touch with restaurants and food stores local to them which have signed up to share their almost or ‘just-out-of-date’ meals and produce with customers looking for a bargain. Once you join by downloading the app to your phone and sharing your location, the app suggests participating food outlets in your area and sharing your distance from them.
Common sense says we need to be less wasteful and more clever when it comes to supermarket shopping.
Is this a new twist on food miles!?
985 meters from my home (according to the App) is Totnes Morrisons, whom in their head office press releases, is keen to underline their responsiveness to customer suggestions and pressure regarding Green Business, by seriously seeking to solve the food waste issue. Jayne Wall, Market Street Director at Morrisons, said : “We are using technology to help us reduce food waste and to help more people afford to eat well.” – To fly fruit and vegetables in from around the world, deliver them to Totnes from the
main depot, and then have to cart away perfectly sound and delicious but ‘past it’s best before date’ foods to a recycle and wasteplant for destruction is counter-productive to a healthy society and costing the company much money in food-miles.
Morrisons predicts it will distribute 350,000 boxes of unsold food nationally in 2020 which will reduce CO2 emissions by 882 tonnes: the equivalent of driving delivery lorries from London to Edinburgh 5,351 times! With a saving of £6.91 or more per box, customers will be pleased to know this is not a compromise on taste. “Common sense says we need to be less wasteful and more clever when it comes to supermarket shopping.” says Totnes mother or two and self-confessed budget shopper Hannah Marks. “Best Before is not the same as Use By- Use By means after this date food risks becoming spoiled, must not be sold and should not be used, whereas Best Before is a guide only- and there are often many days difference between when a tomato, piece of cheese or pack of biscuits reaches it’s BB and when it is spoiling. I wouldn’t notice the difference in taste and quality and I am a foodie! Big Companies need to take their waste and polution issues seriously and change their behaviours, and it could really help those of us struggling to put enough good food on the table too.”
Bonita Curtis, director at the Totnes Connection Hub, which offers support to the homeless, vulnerable and those in need at 2a Burke Rd, Totnes, recognised and applauded Morrions’ efforts to support those struggling to access healthy diet and enough to eat on tight budgets. “Morrisons host 2 donation collection bins for us- thank you to everyone who pops a product in, your thoughtfulness means a lot! We work with other food outlets in Totnes too, to make sure their BB foods are used and shared with those most in need in our community.” Betina said that Market Place Ministries, who run the Totnes Connection Hub, are also part of the ‘Fare Share’ campaign- where supermarket chains sign up to hand out free ‘just past’ BB date food to their local charities to make up the boxes of groceries that can mean eating or not to people in difficulty. “These kinds of schemes and organizing from food outlets allows our work with the most vulnerable to be possible, and will make a difference for those looking to make their money go further – both very good outcomes.”
Hopefully we are seeing a sea change in supermarket attitudes toward the comunities using them. It can’t be all about massive massive massive profits- its reasuring to see the penny dropping on the relationship between cutting down and polution, waste management and making good food accessable to all.
At going to press, my App reported that Morrisons Totnes, Kingsbridge and Teignmouth were all ‘sold out’. I’m keeping a keen eye on the app, and will update as the scheme takes off in Totnes.
Pay through the app and then collect the food from the store during the given collection window.