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‘We know that sometimes food waste is unavoidable. The more we can divert to people who need it, the better. It’s the responsible way to do business.’

City Harvest food partner Sysco GB does business responsibly by diverting industry surplus to those in need via City Harvest’s logistical solution. Sustainability Manager, Emily Pinkney, details her experience working with City Harvest, and how it couldn’t be more responsible, or needed.

Sysco GB works in partnership with City Harvest food charity

City Harvest driver, Joris, collects food from Sysco company, Fresh Direct, in Daghenham.

‘Sysco GB has committed to halving food waste by 2030 across the business’

City Harvest spoke with Sustainability Manager, Emily Pinkney, to talk about Sysco’s sustainability model. Working flexibly with City Harvest enables Sysco to reduce its food waste across GB companies.

I’m Emily Pinkney, I am Sustainability Manager at Sysco GB. As part of my role, I’m leading on ensuring that we have a food donation partnership out of every single one of our depots. We’re looking at ways in which we can work with all our brands and customers who we distribute for. We want to make sure we can release any stock that’s being held unnecessarily and put it to good use.

We operate a number of brands in the GB market, so Brakes, which is our main broad-line business. Then we have a number of specialised businesses such as Fresh Direct, M&J Seafood, Country Choice, as well as some more local regional broad-lines such as KFF and Medina.

We know that sometimes food waste is unavoidable in our operations, so the more that we can divert to people that need it, especially in the current climate. That is just the responsible way to do business.

City Harvest is so flexible with how we can work with them that it gives us scope to up donations as and when we need to. My relationship with Goldie from City Harvest is a key part of enabling us to do that and develop the partnership.

As a global business and being a leader in the space, we have the responsibility to set the tone for other industry players. If we weren’t donating our surplus food, that would be fundamentally the wrong thing for us to do, morally, and as a business.

We have a key role to play, as a foodservice business, in particular, to ensure that we are supporting people that are experiencing food insecurity. 

We don’t have the distribution network to do that ourselves, so working with charities like City Harvest means that they can go out and reach the charities that need it most, and we have the full confidence that it’s going to right place.

Equally for our team, it’s really inspiring for them – they don’t want to binning food in our depots. So, them seeing charities like City Harvest turn up for collection at the depots every week is really empowering for them.

Looking out for people and the planet

With the support of surplus food partners like Sysco GB, City Harvest can deliver the right food, to the right people, at the right time. Free, nutritious food has never been more in demand. Together with our partners in the food industry, we’re tackling the huge societal issues of food poverty, and food waste.

Got Surplus?

If you’re a food business looking to sustainably redistribute your industry surplus, get in touch with City Harvest’s food team. We can help to solve surplus issues from anywhere in your supply chain.