Today, Starbucks Canada announces the launch of Starbucks FoodShare, a national effort to provide nourishing, ready-to-eat meals to people in need. The company is making a commitment to rescue 100 per cent of food available for donation from its more than 1,100 company-owned stores. Building on a successful pilot with Second Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in Canada, the program will launch in Ontario starting with more than 250 stores in the GTA by February 22. Starbucks is actively working to expand the program to even more cities and provinces, with a goal to have a national solution in place by 2021.
“Wasted food is a wide-scale problem for everyone in the food business, while more than 4 million Canadians are impacted by hunger,” says Luisa Girotto, vice president, Public Affairs, Starbucks Canada. “This is unacceptable, and we will help solve this now that we have a way to safely donate chilled, perishable food, while preserving its quality.”
A Focus on Food Recovery
In Canada, the company has always donated unsold pastries and baked goods but wanted to do more.
Starbucks invested in research and quality assurance testing to develop a sector-leading program to safely donate chilled and perishable food to those in need. Now, nourishing items like breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes, salads, yogurt, milk and dairy alternatives like soy and coconut, can be safely donated and enjoyed by those in need.
Starbucks FoodShare has identified guidelines and developed training on maintaining the temperature, texture and flavour of this food, so that when it reaches a person in need, they can safely enjoy it. In turn, Second Harvest will work with local community groups across the province who will collect the food to ensure these food safety standards are met.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Starbucks to support food recovery in local neighbourhoods to ensure people have the food they need to be healthy while also making a positive impact on the environment,” says Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “We all have a part to play in reducing the social and environmental costs of food waste and it’s great to see Starbucks taking a leadership role.”
A Positive Impact On The Environment
In addition to combatting hunger, the Starbucks FoodShare program will divert food surplus from landfills, helping to minimize the company’s environmental footprint. The amount of food wasted each year is particularly staggering. In Canada, it is estimated that nearly 60 per cent of all food produced is lost and wasted annually, according to a recent study titled The Avoidable Crisis Of Food Waste. To limit the effects of climate change, the United Nations has set a target of halving food loss and waste by 2030.
The movement to donate unsold food has been gaining momentum globally, with consumers showing increased concern for the greater issue of waste. Starbucks recognizes the work ahead and plans to build on its long history of sustainability by:
- Achieving 99 per cent ethically-sourced coffee
- Offering a discount to any customer who brings a reusable cup or tumbler to company-owned stores around the world
- Introducing a strawless lid and eliminating plastic straws globally by 2020
- Founded NextGen Cup Challenge and invested $10 million to bring a fully recoverable hot and cold fibre cup to a global scale
- Starbucks cups contain 10 per cent post-consumer fibre, which was introduced in 2006 and the company expects to double this number by 2022
- Building more than 1,500 LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified stores in 20 markets, including Canada
- Starbucks purchases Renewable Energy Certificates, currently covering 62 per cent of our electricity usage globally, with a goal of reaching 100 per cent globally by 2020