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Retailer discounting fresh food to reduce waste

Twenty Metro stores now offer a 30 percent discount on products that are nearing their expiration date. This program not only reduces food waste and losses, it also reduces the grocery bill for customers who buy these soon-to-be expired but still perfectly good products.metro

The “30% off” stickers will be placed on products every day, as employees do the freshness rounds checking in the produce, meat, fish, deli, cheese, bakery, grocery and dairy departments.

Because food loss is unavoidable part of the business, Metro has implemented various initiatives to reduce it as much as possible in its stores, like offering last-minute discounts to sell off soon-to-be-expired products. The new program pursues the aim of systematizing the process to ensure discounts are applied consistently in different stores.

Discounted products that do not get sold will either be given to food banks (in stores paired up with a participating organization) or will be deposited for organic waste recovery.

The pilot project could expand over the next few months if the customer response is positive.

Metro said its efforts to reduce food waste and losses are not a new thing. In 2016 it committed to a Zero Waste target for its Quebec and Ontario stores participating in the recycling programs. The retailer was also one of the first to partner up with the Supermarket Recovery Program helmed by the Food Banks of Quebec, and a $500,000 donation to the organization was announced for the current major fundraising campaign. In January 2019, Metro committed to a 50 percent reduction in food waste related to its operations by 2025 as compared to 2016.