CANADA – Walmart Canada has announced a commitment to achieve zero food waste by 2025 after receiving a US$15 million funding from Walmart Foundation to support initiatives and research to reduce food waste in Canada.

According to the company, the initiative builds on its long term commitment to food waste, dating from 2005.

The company announced that it had managed to reduce food waste in its own operations by 23% between 2015 and 2017.

The zero food waste initiative encompasses a three-step strategy that will help in improving operational efficiencies while enhancing value to the customer.

The Canadian retailer plans to discounting repackaged bruised or peak-freshness produce through Walmart’s Bag Program and reduce prices to allow for the quick sale of fresh meat, bakery, dairy and produce items approaching their best-before dates.

“We are stepping up in the fight against food waste and hunger,” said Lee Tappenden, president and CEO, Walmart Canada.

Walmart believes improving bakery production operations will reduce overproduction and together with this plans to implement organic recycling programs in 338 stores and distribution centre locations across Canada.

With around 85% of its stores regularly donating their surplus food products, Walmart is looking forward to maximize food donations by pairing all its stores to local food banks in Canada.

“In addition to the Walmart Foundation’s significant funding, Walmart Canada’s operational initiatives, food donations and philanthropy will help to further reduce food waste and food insecurity in Canada,” added Mr Tappenden.

The funding will support food banks even online systems that give business easy access to donate surplus food such as perishable dairy, prepared foods produce and freshly baked products.