Countdown on food waste
At Countdown we are committed to reducing food waste as much as we can. The best thing we can do is to forecast customer demand as accurately as possible so that there isn’t leftover food in the first place - this includes monitoring any waste from our stores and supplying them with the correct range and quantities. But in any food business, there is always going to be some level of food waste so when that happens, we have a plan in place to make sure it is put to good use.
Countdown's policy is to donate food that is still edible to our community charity partners through the Countdown Food Rescue programme. In 2015 we donated more than $3.5 million worth of food to our food bank partners - that’s approximately 509 tonnes of food.
We also have partnerships with local farmers for food that’s not suitable for human consumption. In 2015, we also donated a further 1.2 million worth of food to farmers.
Since 2006 our business has reduced waste to landfill by 43%, even though we have 37% more selling space than we used to with new and extended stores. We also now send 2.3 times the amount to recycling than we do to landfill. Countdown's Food Rescue programme is a big part of how we're working to reduce waste, and also help out New Zealanders who need it.