Pioneering Company Tackling Food Waste Wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise
The UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food, Company Shop, was today announced as a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise
The UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food, Company Shop, was today announced as a winner of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the UK’s top business prize. Company Shop was recognised for its “outstanding achievement” in sustainable development thanks to its ongoing work to “ensure a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come”.
The award was made after the judging panel put Company Shop forward to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee. The Committee then made a recommendation to HM The Queen, who made the final decision.
Company Shop was founded 40 years ago and is now the leader in food surplus redistribution. The organisation takes food from retailers, manufacturers and brands, that is perfectly good to eat, but for a number of reasons wouldn’t reach the supermarket shelves. This could be because of a packaging error, food being slightly over or under weight, a seasonal promotion that may have ended, or because of forecasting issues. The business now handles more than 30,000 tonnes of surplus stock from the food supply chain each year and ensures that as much of this good food reaches feed people’s plates as possible, rather than going to landfill or anaerobic digestion.
The Award also recognises Community Shop, the social supermarket Company Shop established, which sells high-quality, low-cost surplus food to local members who are on some form of income support but who are motivated to make a positive change in their lives and enrol on courses on employability, financial skills and self-confidence. There are two Community Shop stores so far – the first opened in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire in 2013, with the first full-scale supermarket opening in Lambeth in December last year – with plans underway to open another 20 across the country. Community Shop is already transforming lives as it steps up to two of the biggest challenges we face in the UK – food waste and food poverty.
On winning the Queen’s Award, Company Shop’s founder and Chairman John Marren said:
“After working for 40 years to build partnerships and collaboration across the food industry to tackle waste, it is fantastic to be recognised by Her Majesty the Queen for our contribution to sustainable development in the UK. Food waste once happened under the radar and today’s award shows how it is becoming an increasingly important issue on our national agenda.”
Company Shop Managing Director Mark Game added:
“We have always been motivated by doing business differently and we put social and environmental considerations at the heart of every decision we make. We’re very excited to receive a Queen’s Award and we hope this will only serve to raise further awareness of the solutions that are in place to avoid unnecessary waste and drive behaviour change.”