France, Carrefour and Leclerc obtain the national label against food waste
By: Marta Strinati 04/04/2023
From: GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade)
Two groups in large-scale distribution in France – Leclerc (in first place, 22,9% market share in 2022) and Carrefour (fourth in the standings, with 9,9% of the market share) – obtain the national label against food waste, the newly launched government recognition to identify virtuous operators (1,2).
The recipe for success of the two transalpine giants of distribution is expressed in a program of measures aimed at offering a second possibility of consumption to foods otherwise destined for waste. And an essential ingredient of the recipe is the direction of the French government, which usually follows the announcements with the facts.
A national label against food waste
In 2020 alone, it is estimated that in France 9 million tons of food have been wasted along the food chain (in the whole EU it is about 57 million tons). (3) An amoral dispersion, as well as unsustainable for the environment, given the waste of resources used to produce those foods.
The AGEC law (Loi Anti-gaspillage pour une circulaire economy), in the same year, defined the goal of halving food waste by 2025 in distribution and collective catering and by 2030 for the remaining sectors. (3)
An official label (national anti-gaspillage alimentaire label) is attributed to operators in the agri-food chain ‘from farm to fork‘, after audit third-party, to attest to the level of effectiveness of their efforts to reduce food waste.
The evaluation is divided into three levels:
1 star – commitment,
2 stars – mastery,
3 stars – exemplary.
Carrefour and Leclerc, 3-star champions
The first two operators of the French GDO accredited with national anti-gaspillage alimentaire label have qualified as exemplars – 3 stars – for their efficiency in reducing food waste, thanks to a series of initiatives:
– donation to charities,
– organisation in the sales rooms of areas dedicated to expiring or ‘ugly’ products offered at very discounted prices,
– better management of the shelves in the store,
– agreement with the Too Good To Go app to sell surpluses at a reduced price (we talked about it here).
Carrefour – first of the two Italian retailer to receive the award for the Montesson supermarket (15 km from Paris) on 17 March 2023 – boasts the adoption of an app for internal use that facilitates the transfer of expiring products, from the shelves to the promotional areas. A solution that has reduced waste by 8%.
Both of the operators have obtained recognition with a special mention. A detail that is worth the use of communication campaigns supported by the State.
Next step forcollective catering
The application of the label campaign against food waste continues. In the first half of 2023, the processing of the benchmarking for the collective and commercial catering sector. Subsequently, we will work on other sectors of the agri-food chain.
The objective is well-planned, and ambitious. Great potential can also be glimpsed in the virtuous recovery of raw materials, ingredients and foods through operations of upcycling. (4) Thanks also to the contribution of some EU research projects such as #wasteless, in the Horizon Europe programme. (5)
(1) Jonathan Le Borgne. Parts de marché et chiffres d’affaires de la grande distribution in 2022. https://www.jebosseengrandedistribution.fr/2023/01/03/classement-grande-distribution-2022-en-fonction-des-parts-de-marche/ Je bosse en grande distribution. 3.1.23
(2) National anti-gaspillage alimentaire label. Ministère de la Transition écologique et de la Cohésion des territoires. 29.3.23 https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/label-national-anti-gaspillage-alimentaire
(3) Dario Dongo. Environmental labeling in France, obligations for operators from other Member States. FARE (Food and Agriculture Requirements). 14.1.23
(4) Dario Dongo, Upcycling, the main road to research and innovation. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 1.1.23
(5) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Wasteless, EU research project on circular economy and blockchain. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 5.9.22