Starbucks Canada announced their plan to launch Starbucks FoodShare to help reduce stores’ food waste and provide meals for those who need it. Even though customers don’t really associate Starbucks with food, they do sell quite a number of non-liquid items on their menus. Instead of ending up in the bin, they should end up on someone’s plate if they’re still good.
In Canada, nearly 60% of food produced for sale ends up in the garbage. 32% of that food is still edible—totalling around $49 billion in lost resources. The commitment to reducing food waste by big companies like Starbucks is imperative to the cause. While every individual must be conscious of their food waste, the food industry's waste has more impact than a neighbourhood.
The FoodShare project is Starbucks commitment to reducing food waste, with the goal of rescuing 100% of their food from bins to donate. In the country, there are more than 1,100 stores, so this project will be able to donate about 1.5 million meals per year to Canadians in need. The program will launch in Ontario starting with the stores in the Greater Toronto Area on February 22nd. There are more than 250 stores in the GTA, so the project will have quite an impact if its successful. Starbucks plans to have a nation-wide and stable solution in place by 2021.
The project also includes research and training in maintaining the quality of perishable food. Products like yogurt, paninis, and salads need to be preserved in different ways in order to prevent them from going bad quickly. The FoodShare program has identified guidelines and training framework to ensure the quality and safety of the food that will be donated.
Other than helping feed hungry Canadians, Starbucks’ project will also reduce the amount of food surplus that ends up in landfills. FoodShare will not only help feed many people, but will also forward the movement of reducing food waste. With their example, more companies, big or small, could follow suit. If rescuing 100% of the food surplus from the garbage bins becomes the norm, then Canadians can create a business culture based on social consciousness.