The U La Rochelle Beaulieu hypermarket was one of the first, last July, to obtain the national anti-waste label. Afnor awarded it the three-star level, or “exemplary”, because of the work carried out over several years aimed at limiting food waste as much as possible.
The fight against food waste is a long-term mission. According to Eurostat, nearly 9 million tonnes of food were “lost” throughout the food chain in 2022. Including at the food distribution phase, in short within points of sale, in small and large areas. Aware of the environmental issues, they are mobilizing and trying to reduce losses as best they can. This is the case of the U La Rochelle Beaulieu hypermarket in Puilboreau, which has been very involved in the issue for several years.
Supported in its strategy of recycling unsold food by the company Comerso, the store obtained the national anti-waste label last July from Afnor. Like, now, around twenty establishments spread across France, the hypermarket has even reached the three-star level, namely “exemplary”. Fruit of the effort made by the teams to throw away as little food as possible.
Promotions in stores…
“As of 2015, explains Mathias Bures, the store manager, we started ‘sticking’ items a few days before their use-by date, particularly fresh products, such as yogurt, cheese or slices of ham. » As for fruits and vegetables, there is no question of throwing away what is damaged, it can be used in compote recipes for example.
Thus, the store offers anti-waste baskets for 2.50 euros, not counting the historic partnership with the anti-waste “good deals app” Phenix. The hypermarket, moreover, reduces the price (-30%) of cuts of meat, fish or even products in the grocery and bakery sections 24 hours before their use-by date. So many operations that allow the Système U network store to sell off stocks before having to put them in the dumpster. Useful, by the way, in this period of galloping inflation.
…and then the donations
In addition, food products that can no longer be sold on time are donated to associations, thanks to the support, in particular, of Comerso. In this case, the food bank collects everything that is still edible every morning, vegetables, yogurts, meat, with a view to giving them to people in need. Essential action in these times of social crisis.
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Non-consumable meat products, for their part, are also valued. “They are given to a she-wolf raising a pack of dogsexplains Mathias Bures. The prefecture uses it to hunt wild animals around towns or roundabouts. »
The store teams, he adds, have been trained to have the right reflex at the right time: what to do for this or that product expiring shortly? Should we have the sticker and offer customers a reduction or give it to the partners of solidarity associations? And when exactly? The employees know, and Afnor has rewarded them for this, via the anti-waste label.