Caboodle provides a more direct network for UK retailers to tackle food waste

Several big brands, along with retailer Co-op and Microsoft, have started testing a massive project called Caboodle which aims to drastically reduce food waste in the UK.

With over 1.1 million tons of food in the trash, the Co-op co-founder and others want to find a way to both eliminate that and be able to distribute far more excess food to charities. via Caboodlegroup.thecaboodle. The new non-profit digital platform would better connect supermarkets and catering entities to centers and volunteers serving communities.

“The amount of good quality surplus food that is not currently being redistributed is staggering,” said Shirine Khoury-Haq, acting CEO of the cooperative. “We are currently testing Caboodle in over 100 grocery stores, and the results we are seeing so far are amazing. We will be rolling it out across our domain next month and hope that all other retailers and hospitality businesses will also see the benefits. The more organizations use Caboodle, the easier and more efficient it will be for volunteers and community groups to access good food.

Leaders of the groups say awareness has grown about delivering to people in need, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the process can often be cumbersome for charities. They say that every year some 200,000 tons of food that could be used just ends up wasted.

“Redistribution of surplus food has been successful in recent years,” said Estelle Herszenhorn, food manager at WRAP. “320,000 tonnes of food have been avoided between 2015 and 2020, costing £1billion, and providing the equivalent of 220 million meals. But a lot more good food is still going to be wasted that could feed people. Innovations like Caboodle that can help overcome common barriers and facilitate the redistribution of surplus food are truly exciting and have the potential to make serious inroads into the 200,000 tonnes that WRAP estimates could still be redistributed.

Caboodle, however, ensures a more streamlined method for everyone involved as part of Microsoft’s Power Platform technology, hosting a single place where retailers, cafes and restaurants can connect with the community organization when needed. , thereby reducing unnecessary paperwork. In fact, they can contact volunteers the same day through live notifications and alerts. Charities can configure times and slots when availability exists.

Caboodle, which is used in several Co-op food outlets in Northern Ireland, Milton Keynes and London, will soon be placed in 2,500 other food outlets, providing a huge win for organizations and even groups of youth.

“As a charity that has trialled Caboodle and is already seeing the benefits, we know it will make a real difference to others like us,” said Richard Smith, assistant director of food supply at The Felix. Project. “The process for us is just simpler and unlike other systems it works in a way that allows us to let stores know if we can’t make our collection slots – offering the slot to another group nearby to prevent food from being wasted at a time when so many people need it.

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