Central Co-op partners with Olio to tackle food waste

Posted by lauryn mellor | Published: 24/04/2024

In celebration of Stop Food Waste Day, 24th April 2024, Central Co-op is thrilled to announce the official rollout of its partnership with Olio across all Central Co-op stores, marking a significant milestone in the fight against food waste and food poverty.

Through this collaboration, Olio volunteers will rescue good food directly from Central Co-op stores at the end of each day, and share it with members of the surrounding community in as little as 30 minutes.

The ethical retailer’s commitment to sustainability and community support is exemplified by its food redistribution scheme, which has evolved to become a cornerstone of its mission.

Rooted in responsible waste management and social responsibility, Central Co-op’s initiatives have achieved remarkable milestones over the years. From becoming zero to landfill in 2010, to aligning with the government's waste hierarchy framework and working with food waste charities since 2017, the Society has continuously adapted to better serve its community and the environment.

Olio's and its food-safety trained Food Waste Hero volunteers will play a vital role in this partnership, collecting surplus food from Central Co-op stores, taking it home, and advertising it on the Olio app for individuals or groups to collect free of charge.

This decentralised approach promises to maximise community benefit while minimising waste, empowering more individuals and families to access essential resources. This is especially important during the ongoing cost of living crisis, and when so many families are struggling to access the food they need.

Already, the impact of Central Co-op and Olio's partnership has been outstanding. During the rollout phase, 351,488 items were saved, 106,022kg of food rescued (equivalent to 17 elephants!) and 194,505 meals equivalent saved - benefiting 6,848 individual households. Additionally, the partnership has saved 61 million litres of water, avoided 352,322kg of CO2 emissions, taken 1.2 million car miles off the road, and planted the equivalent of 16,182 trees.

Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founder of Olio, comments: “We're incredibly proud of the impact we've achieved already. It's incredible to see the engagement and passion of Central Co-op colleagues across all of their stores, which has led to a massive buzz of positivity amongst our volunteers and the wider Olio community."

Hannah Gallimore, Social Change Manager at Central Co-op, added: "Our collaboration with Olio marks a significant step forward in our mission to combat food waste and food poverty. By leveraging the power of technology and community engagement, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families while advancing in sustainability practices."

Central Co-op and Olio remain committed to their shared mission of creating a more sustainable and equitable future, leveraging the power of collaboration and innovation to address pressing societal challenges.

For more information on Central Co-op’s initiatives, visit centralcoop.co.uk/ or find out more on socials. Details on becoming a Member can be found on membership.centralengland.coop/.


For press information
Press Office

Lauryn Mellor, PR and Media Specialist at Central Co-op
07385 048004