New Loblaw docuseries aims to help solve the food waste problem

Loblaw has launched a new four-part online docuseries on the challenges posed by food waste and what companies and operators can do to improve.

Called “Half Full“, the series consists of four episodes which each present stories about ways people can work to solve the food waste problem including the role of retailers, how home cooks can reduce waste, a look at circularity, and some of the businesses tackling the issue.

The content series fits with the company’s corporate social responsibility commitments. According to Loblaw, while many Canadians remain food insecure, the country wastes enough food each year to feed the entire country for five months.

“It can’t continue, and so as the stores that fill more Canadian fridges than any other, we’ve been taking action,” said CEO Galen Weston in an introductory note to PC Insiders members. Weston added that “Half Full” profiles some of Canada’s “food waste heroes” and features “amazing stories from the people working hard to make the most of the food we are lucky enough to have.”

Meanwhile, another Loblaw series, Ripe, features Canadian chefs showing how people can reduce waste by using every part of their vegetables.

“There’s something special about being schooled on the ingredients you thought you knew so well, while finding new ways to tackle old problems,” wrote Weston. “Hopefully some of these recipes help you get more out of the food in your fridge, keep it out of the trash.”

Both series are housed on the once-exclusive PC Insiders website, which Loblaw opened up to non-members during the height of the pandemic.

Loblaw makes progress

In his email, Weston also detailed some of the progress Loblaw has made to surpass its food waste goals. In 2017, the company set out to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025; by the end of last year, Loblaw had already reduced food waste to landfills by 86 per cent, far ahead of schedule.

Loblaw has taken action including introducing a No Name brand imperfect product line which saves misshapen but good fruit and vegetables from the landfill, a partnership with Second Harvest that helps donate food to supply meals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, converting expired bakery waste into animal feed, and biogas production.

“These days, so much of our lives is about doing things differently,” concluded Weston. “Finding creative solutions to get us back to a new, better normal. And to see that energy help solve the food waste challenge that’s been around for far too long is inspiring.”