If 25% of the food currently lost or wasted were saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people. Learn more about how Arla is fighting food waste.
We all know how easy it is to allow a slice of bread to turn stale or forget those leftovers we’ve carefully saved in the fridge. What is more difficult to understand though is just how much our individual food waste adds up.
Every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted or lost, globally. The environmental, social and economic impacts of this are huge, which is why we are very committed to reducing food waste in Arla.
Donating surplus food
When Arla's products cannot be sold via traditional sales channels, we prefer to donate them to charity where they can improve the diets of people in need.
We have collaborated with local food banks for years, such as Fareshare in the UK, Fødevarebanken in Denmark, Die Tafel in Germany, and the Dutch food bank.
In 2018, Arla provided more than 1200 tonnes of dairy products to food banks across Europe, enough to make more than 2,800,000 meals for people in need.*
Changing consumers’ mindset
Arla also plays an important role in helping consumers to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away.
By giving our consumers tips and tricks for using leftovers and weekly dinner plans on our websites, we hope to engage and educate them to avoid food waste in their everyday lives.
Other initiatives include:
- Designing packaging, which is easy to fold and fully empty.
- Offering different package sizes to enable consumers to match their purchase with their needs.
- Putting a lot of focus on how to maximize the freshness and shelf life of our products.
Small changes in product and packaging design can make a huge difference in finding ways to tackle the food waste problem. And here, innovative thinking is key.
A good example of this is how Arla Sweden and Arla Denmark has changed the date labelling on milk cartons and other fresh dairy products from only stating “Best before” to also adding “Often good after.” This should encourage consumers to smell and taste the products before throwing them out so that good products do not end up down the sink.
These initiatives ties directly into our commitment and contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which is to halve food waste at retail and consumer level and to reduce it as much as possible in the rest of the food value chain until 2030.
Arla’s target is to halve the food waste in our own operations, as a % of raw material intake, meaning that we continue to improve production efficiency and create innovative solutions to make more out of the milk and other raw materials Arla is processing into products that reaches all the way down consumers stomachs.
This is also an important part of Arla’s journey towards Carbon Net Zero dairy in 2050.
*recalculation based on methodology used by FairShare in the UK.