Co-op and Microsoft launch anti-food waste platform

The technology will stop businesses binning excess food through communication

Net Hero Podcast

Co-op and Microsoft have launched a new not-for-profit platform to tackle food waste.

‘Caboodle’ has been set up alongside technology companies BJSS and Team ITG; allowing supermarkets, cafes and restaurants to connect with one another and ensure excess food is not wasted.

Surplus food will be redistributed by volunteers to those who need it most – with community groups from cities across the UK able to request any extra food using the app.

Close to 1.1 million tonnes of food goes to waste annually from the food retail and hospitality sectors.

The companies hope this link can help reduce this number and ensure nothing is wasted.

Co-op is currently trialling the program in various food stores – before it goes live to 2,500 more stores next month.

Charities, food banks, schools and youth groups are able to participate and access otherwise wasted food.

Co-op CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “We’re currently trialling caboodle in over 100 food stores and the results we’re seeing so far are incredible. We’ll be rolling it out across our entire estate next month and hope that all other retailers and businesses within hospitality will see the benefit too.

“The more organisations use Caboodle the simpler and more effective it will be for volunteers and community groups to gain access to good food.”

“One of the best things about Caboodle is not just the impact it will have but also that it came from a chance conversation between a Microsoft employee and a Co-op store manager about how to stop good food going to waste,” added Microsoft CEO Clare Barclay.