2012: A year in review

Responsible retailing

All four Ahold USA divisions engage in hunger relief efforts – a natural fit for a food retailer. The Consumable Food Taskforce was set up to send more safe, unsold food to food banks, while leftover organic waste is composted.


Responsible retailing –
Managing food waste and fighting hunger

00:00:00 - John Ponnett, Regional Vice President and Member of the Consumable Food Taskforce
I’m part of a Consumable Food Taskforce that’s structured by members of all four of our divisions in the United States. Really, the taskforce has two primary functions: 1) find ways to reduce waste in the waste stream from an environmental perspective and responsible retailing. And 2) where we can, donate food to our food bank partners to help those in need in our market areas.
So this area is an example of how the donation process works when associates go through their shelves in the morning and remove from sale anything that’s gone out of code today. So we’ll now take this product, we will freeze it, box it up and it gets taken right to the food bank.
00:00:40 - Matt Burrell, Meat Manager
Oh, it’s excellent. This is all still good meat that we’re donating. We’re talking about cooked products, hamburger, steaks, pork, chicken – anything that’s still eatable and we give it to the needy that’s in the area.
00:00:55 - Joe Arthur, Executive Director, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
We have a great partnership with Ahold and Giant Foods. The primary part of that partnership is the meat program.
It’s going to be very cold, it’s -10. This product here in the box is actually retail-packed meat that’s from Giant, Ahold.
Last year over 350,000 pounds of meat was donated to us that way. We calculate on a four-ounce serving; that’s about 1.4 million meals in a year, last year alone.
00:01:26 - John Ponnett
There’s been a tremendous amount of passion about saving the environment, doing things from a responsible retailing perspective. Now each of the stores have a Green Captain, everybody now sees a vested interest in driving the process.
00:01:30 - Matt Zapczynski, Non-Perishable Manager and Green Captain
As the Green Captain, I oversee all the green team people in my store. We just get together and bounce ideas off each other: ways to reduce the plastic, the cardboard in the baler, the organic recycling program, so just always new ideas.
00:01:51 - Dominic D’Agostino, Purchasing Manager
We’re trying to divert 40% of our waste through organics out of the landfill. Right now today we have some of the bread that will be going into the organics barrels.
Any of the products in this bin here we culled from the floor, which is not acceptable for sale to the customers. Trimmings from the greens, damaged in any way possible.
From the store’s perspective this gives us a better quality image. To the customer when they walk in the front door, the product looks fresher, everything just pops and looks fresh.
This material will either be going to livestock feed or it will be going to compost.
00:02:25, Brian Ferguson, Producer Manager
Oh, it’s fantastic. We’re not putting all this to waste and it’s going to some happy farmers’ pigs.
00:02:34 - Dominic D’Agostino
Right now all stores have the capabilities of participating with this program, and our goal is to get there to the 40% and it is achievable. There are stores in the program that are participating anywhere from 40 to 55% out of the compactor into these bins.
00:02:48 - John Ponnett
There’s no question that when we do the right thing from a responsible retailing perspective, it ends up saving the consumer money. So controlling our shrink, reducing our waste costs, all of those things allow us to save cost that we can reinvest back into the business to do the most important thing, which is deliver great customer service and give the customers value: two things that they tell us that we have to do for them.