International Awareness Day on the Loss and Waste of Food

Continente stores have sold, since the beginning of the year, 40 thousand Zer0% Waste Boxes. These boxes, made up of 5kg of fruit and vegetables, which are nearing the end of their commercial value, but which are still in perfect consumption condition, sold for €0.50/kg, are intended to fight food waste and encourage customers to a conscious consumption.

The Zer0% Waste Boxes’ fruits and vegetables, sold in the fresh produce area in all Continente stores, are carefully selected by each store’s employees, who 'salvage' only those products that continue to meet the brand's quality and freshness standards, but which are about to lose their commercial value for aesthetic reasons, for instance. Thus, the boxes are put up for sale depending on the availability of stock in each store.

Since November 2019 – when we started the pilot project – our customers have already 'salvaged' hundreds of thousands of kg of fruit and vegetables, more than 200 thousand this year alone. In March 2021, for instance, we sold over 7 thousand boxes, allowing us to avoid tonnes of food waste, while providing products that preserve excellent consumption conditions, at a more consumer-friendly price”, explains David Monteiro, Fruits & Vegetables’ Business Unit Director.

Food waste is a problem for which Continente, as a retailer, has a fundamental role, helping to set an example, encouraging consumers, employees and suppliers to play an active role in this work that is everyone's responsibility, especially today, when we celebrate the International Awareness Day on the Loss and Waste of Food”, explains the official.

In addition to this box, the brand is taking advantage of the waste generated in the production of PGI apples and pears, turning them into dehydrated fruit snacks, for sale for €0.69 each 20g package, but also through natural juices that are made only from these squeezed fruits, without any added sugar or water, such as the 1.5l 100% Alcobaça apple juice for €2.99.

Furthermore, in order to avoid breakdowns and contribute to a more sustainable planet, Continente stores donate food surpluses on a daily basis to social solidarity and animal support institutions. In 2020, surpluses corresponding to 13.8 million euros were donated to more than 1,170 institutions across the country.

Another strategy to fight food waste, implemented for over 10 years in Continente stores, is the use of pink labels (smart depreciation labels). These labels communicate a price reduction on products that are approaching their expiration date. This system represents advantages for all parties involved, as it avoids waste and simultaneously offers economic benefits to the customer.

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