The agreement builds on the partnerships already in place between Arla and local FEBA members such as Fareshare in the UK, Fødevarebanken, in Denmark, and the Dutch food bank.
Kristian Østerling Eriknauer, vice president of CSR at Arla, said the new partnership strengthens the company’s ability to benefit from the large network of food banks around Europe in case there are large surplus volumes to be redistributed, which is not possible for local food banks to absorb.
Reducing waste by half
In partnering with the FEBA, a non-profit network organization which brings together 326 food banks in 23 countries throughout Europe, Arla said it will further increase its provision of food supplies to help support those in need.
The move will also help Arla to achieve its goal to reduce food waste by half by 2020.
“In Arla, we want to minimize waste, however when this is not possible we treat food as a resource to be reused or recycled,” Eriknauer said.
When Arla’s products cannot be sold via traditional sales channels, either because the expected demand did not meet the supply or products did not meet customer specifications, products either have to be sold as animal feed, sent to biogas for energy production, sent to waste handling or donated for good purposes.
Helping throughout Europe
Eriknauer said partnering with FEBA helps Arla reduce food waste and meet its environmental targets, and enables the company to donate surplus products to charity via professional partners in the cooperative’s different markets throughout Europe.
Patrick Alix, secretary general, FEBA, said the new agreement would build on the existing relationship with Arla, adding it would advance FEBA’s social mission of supporting hungry or malnourished people in more countries throughout Europe.
In 2016, FEBA’s network of food banks provided an average of 2.6m meals per day, thanks to the 16,400 staff who collect, store and redistribute the food to more than 37,000 local charities across Europe.