On June 4th, SPUD was awarded an Alberta Emerald Award in the Large Business category for our environmental achievements in tackling food waste! We are honoured to be recognized for our environmental achievements in Alberta, and want to share with you why we won this award.
According to the National Zero Waste Council, approximately one third of all food is wasted in Canada and retailers are a major part of this- making up about 10% of total food wasted. This is why we are proud to be Canada’s lowest waste grocery company!
How are we able to keep food waste so low?
At SPUD, we tackle food waste from every stage of the food system, from farm to fork. First, we sell imperfect produce. Imperfect produce is often discarded simply because it doesn’t meet the cosmetic standards of most grocery stores. At SPUD we believe there is no reason to waste nutritious and organic food because it looks different!
We also reduce food waste though our industry-leading inventory technology. As an online store we have no in-store displays which allows less food to be damaged as there is no customers consistently poking and prodding at produce! Our warehouse team is able to quickly assess the quality of the food being packed- if its good, it goes into a SPUD bin, and if its bad, its removed from the picking area! Further, because SPUD customers place orders that will be delivered in the future, SPUD is able to order the exact amount of food needed. This means that there isn’t a large inventory of perishable products on hand that could expire before a customer purchases them!
Third, at SPUD Alberta we make sure that even the small amounts of food we cannot sell are used for good! Leftover food, due to spoilage or damage, but is still safe to eat, is donated to local food aid services. In Edmonton, we donate food to Highland’s Junior High School breakfast and lunch program for low-income students, and the soup kitchen at Millwoods United Church, where hot, nutritious meals are cooked for people who need them. In Calgary, food is donated to the Mustard Seed and The Calgary Food Bank.
Moreover, we donate spoiled food to local farmers, who use the scraps for compost or to feed their pigs, roosters, and hens! Donating food scraps to our farmers means we can contribute positively to our local food system by returning nutrients back into the soil (rather than contributing to the landfill!).
Our food truly comes full circle as the farms who collect our food waste also sell their goods on SPUD.ca! Check out Vitality Farm’s organic potatoes as well as Blue Mountain Farm’s meat and vegetables!
What can you do to reduce food waste?
Food waste in Canada is often created in customer’s households – this means that you can be active in the solution to food waste as well! Here are some tips you can use to reduce your food waste at home:
- Meal plan – plan your meals at the start of the week and then buy only what you need to cook them!
- Build your own backyard compost – composting your organic food scraps means that you can create healthy soil right in your own backyard. Learn how to start your own backyard compost here!
- Cook with parts of food you didn’t know you could! Did you know that you can eat the tops of beets and carrots?!
Together, we can not only improve our food system by choosing to eat more sustainably, but we can also support a healthy planet by making food waste never wasted!