Х5 Group launches pilot food donation project for people in need | Sustainable Development Strategy X5 Group
X5 Group sustainability strategy

Х5 Group launches pilot food donation project for people in need

X5 Group has partnered with Foodsharing and Foodbank Rus to launch a pilot food sharing project that will donate food to individuals in need. In its initial stage, the project will be introduced at several Pyaterochka stores in Moscow and Chelyabinsk.

The project will seek to arrange for in-store collection of food that is nearing its expiration date, train employees in the necessary procedures, and establish efficient logistics to deliver the food to those who need it most. At the outset, store employees will, on a daily basis, select bakery products [1] that are set to expire in 1–2 days. These products will then be collected by volunteers and distributed within several hours to individuals supported by Foodbank Rus, a food aid charity, and Foodsharing, a non-profit organisation.

After the pilot stage, X5 plans to roll out the initiative to other Russian regions and expand the range of food products donated, with X5’s Perekrestok supermarket stores and the Company’s distribution centres also coming on board.

“Support for people in need has been a part of the Company’s sustainable development agenda for a number of years. Since 2015, we have been promoting the Basket of Kindness project, a food drive that has helped over 210,000 families. Now, we have initiated another food aid project that will see even more people receive food donations and potentially reduce the amount of food waste sent for disposal. We hope to soon have the necessary infrastructure in place, which will enable us to scale up the project,” said Elena Konnova, Director for Corporate Communications and Sustainable Development at X5 Group.

“Millions of tonnes of food are thrown away every year in Russia because it was not consumed in time. Food sharing is an effective tool for the rational use of food that provides targeted aid to people and ensures that less resources are wasted. Our team is delighted to join efforts with X5 Group. We hope that other retailers will follow the industry leader’s example,” said Alexandra Kumpan, Executive Director at Foodsharing.

“We have been promoting this approach in Russia for ten years now. Apart from the organisational challenges involved, there are tax barriers that still prevent businesses from setting up the food donation process on a large scale. Removing the barrier on input VAT will open up significant resources, which will enable businesses to provide support to the overwhelming majority of people in need. We have recently made progress in this regard. For example, we signed a strategic agreement with Russia’s Agency for Strategic Initiatives to scale up the national food bank system, and last year we signed a strategic agreement to develop retail food sharing together with X5. We have now launched our first pilot projects in two regions. It is important to work out and streamline all the processes on both the food bank and retail chain sides. We are grateful to our partners, including X5 Group and its retail formats, for their support and involvement. Our goal is to scale up the food bank approach to help those in need and use resources sustainably without having a negative impact on the environment,” commented Yulia Nazarova, President of Foodbank Rus.

[1] Rye bread, wheat bread, rusks, bagels

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