Supply chain waste scheme saves 70,000 tonnes

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UK food and consumer goods companies have avoided creating 70,000 tonnes of supply chain waste as part of an Efficient Consumer Response initiative.

Gavin Chappell, supply director of Asda and co-chair of ECR UK, said: “Today’s announcement represents another significant step forward in our drive to reduce waste in the UK supply chain.”

Two targets for supply chain waste were set by ECR UK, the efficient consumer response organisation run by the IGD. The first, for prevention of supply chain waste set a target of 75,000 tonnes by the end of this year.

By the end of 2011, the 34 companies involved in the scheme had achieved 70,000 tonnes.

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The second target was for diversion of supply chain waste. By the end of 2011, the companies had achieved diversion of 195,000 tonnes of waste, against a target of 150,000 tonnes.

Examples of activities to eliminate waste already facilitated by ECR UK include: improved use of weather data in order forecasting; removal of excess supply chain packaging; introducing collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment; including waste in line profitability analysis when reviewing ranges; and redistributing unsold products for human consumption via clearing houses and charities.

Chappell said: “Co-chairing this ECR workgroup this year has reinforced the need for even more collaboration between retailers and manufacturers. We often see decisions and actions in one part of the supply chain create waste in another. Only by working together will we truly be able to reduce waste in the end to end supply chain.”

And Simon Bailey, customer service director, Unilever UK and Ireland said: “It’s good to see how much progress our industry has made on reducing waste to landfill, but now we must all focus on preventing waste arising in our supply chains in the first place.

“The ECR waste workgroup is aiming to make it easier for everybody within each of our organisations to understand how the choices they make in their roles could prevent waste in the supply chain. This is key to accelerating our progress.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD said: “IGD and ECR UK are taking the lessons learned so far and helping to spread best practice to the wider industry. Waste elimination should remain front of mind across all business functions. There are still many opportunities and to achieve further progress, it is crucial to continue to work together, both internally and externally.”

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