Arla has teamed up with the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) as it aims to halve the amount of food waste it produces by 2020.
The agreement will see the dairy company donate surplus products through the FEBA network in Europe.
It formalises and builds on the partnerships already in place between Arla and local food bank FEBA members, such as Fareshare in the UK, Fødevarebanken in Denmark and the Dutch food bank.
In partnering with the FEBA, a non-profit network organisation which brings together 326 food banks in 23 countries throughout Europe, Arla intends to further increase its provision of food supplies to help support those in need.
Arla said that when its products cannot be sold through traditional sales channels, either because the expected demand did not meet the supply or products did not meet customer specifications, these quantities will either have to be sold as animal feed, sent to biogas for energy production, sent to waste handling or donated for good purposes.
Arla vice president of corporate social responsibility Kristian Østerling Eriknauer said: “The new partnership strengthens our ability to benefit from the large network of food banks around Europe in case there are large surplus volumes to be redistributed, which is not possible for local food banks to absorb.
“In Arla, we want to minimise waste. However, when this is not possible we treat food as a resource to be reused or recycled.”
FEBA secretary general Patrick Alix added: “I warmly welcome the partnership that FEBA is initiating with Arla at European level for the redistribution of nutritious surplus products to the most vulnerable population.
“It marks a new step in Arla’s commitment to contribute to alleviating hunger and malnutrition in Europe as it leverages the well-established collaborations that already exist with our member foodbanks in Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.
“We at FEBA look forward to building a trusted relationship with Arla which will no doubt advance our social mission of supporting hungry or malnourished people in more countries throughout Europe.”
In 2016, the FEBA network of food banks provided an average of 2.6 million meals per day to more than 37,000 local charities across Europe.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017