Kroger has unveiled a new campaign in the US to eliminate waste across the company by 2025 and tackle hunger in the communities it calls home.
The retailer estimates that 72 billion pounds of food ends up in US landfills every year and around 42 million Americans struggle with hunger.
As part of its Zero Hunger Zero Waste Plan, Kroger will establish a $10 million innovation fund within The Kroger Co. Foundation to address hunger, food waste and the relationship between the two.
The company said it will advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and to shorten the line at food banks, lobbying for public policies that help communities prevent and divert waste from landfills, including recycling, composting and sustainability programmes.
As part of the scheme, Kroger aims to make balanced meals more readily available by 2025, sharing scalable food waste solutions with other retailers, restaurants and local governments, and working within Kroger’s supply chain to reduce farm-to-fork food loss.
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said: “More than 40% of the food produced in the US each year goes unconsumed, while one in eight people struggle with hunger. That just doesn’t make sense. As America’s grocer and one of the largest retailers in the world, we are committing to doing something about it.
“Zero Hunger Zero Waster is a vision for the America we want to help create with our associates, customers and stakeholders. This is our moonshot.
“We recognize we have a lot of work to do. But we know when Kroger’s more than 443,000 associates put their passion to work to make something happen, we can uplift our communities, the planet and each other.”
WWF senior vice president of private sector engagement Sheila Bonini claimed Kroger’s waste commitment ‘sets a new standard’ for waste reduction goals and that it will ‘have a ripple effect’ across the industry.
“The production and consumption of food has the largest environmental footprint of any human activity,” she said. “By wasting less food, we can reduce the environmental impact of food production while also conserving biodiversity and wildlife habitat.”
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