Supermarket chain offers rewards for cutting down food waste

Tonnes and tonnes of food are currently thrown out by supermarkets each year, leading one chain to offer cash prizes to consumers and business that can help solve the problem

November 7th, 2012 4:37 pm| by admin

FDB, the consumer-based co-operative that runs several of the nation’s supermarkets under the COOP umbrella, asked its customers for suggestions on how it could stop wasting food. After receiving more than 2,000 responses, three of them have been sent on for testing to see if they are viable.

Finalist Morten Hess-Nielsen suggested that when stores offer a discount on a product as it nears its expiration date, the difference between the original cost and the reduced cost be donated to charity. Knowing that money would go to a good cause would make shoppers more inclined to buy nearly-expired products, Hess-Nielsen's theory goes.

Hess-Nielsen's idea puts him in the running, along with the two other finalists, for FDB’s 30,000 kroner Grønne Idépris (Green Idea Prize).

He said he was inspired by the deposit refund system for bottles and cans, which allows users the option of donating their rebates to charity, and his own experiences from when he worked at a Føtex supermarket.

“The store had a policy of not selling expired items, so every night a stock boy would sit and pour the outdated milk down the drain,” Hess-Nielsen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Hess-Nielsen’s former workplace is not alone in throwing out food. FDB estimated that some 50,000 tonnes of food are tossed out every year.

In addition to the consumer award, FDB will award a 100,000 kroner innovation prize to a business that submits a winning idea and 1,200 kroner each to every student that is part of a winning group.

The winner will be announced on November 20.

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