Good practice

Supply chain collaboration in food and drink sector

Supply chain collaboration in food and drink sector
© goodluz, #101641794, 2018, source:
Materials, Waste
Food processing, Wholesale and retail
Resource savings: Waste:
The 17 projects being taken forward have the potential to reduce food and packaging waste by more than 1 680 tonnes per year, with a further 110 tonnes diverted from landfill
Total cost savings:
Cost savings realised through the reduction in waste sent for disposal
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes, Supply operations
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

A good 'rap' for waste reduction

  • Food producer extracts further waste and costs-savings thanks to lean supply chain discipline
  • 1 680 tonnes of waste reduction targeted through 17 projects and 110 tonnes diverted from landfill

Convenience food manufacturer Greencore and supermarket Sainsbury’s have strived to drive out waste in their sandwich supply chain, through a collaborative approach following WRAP's W.A.S.T.E. Problem Solving Discipline (see reference).

The two companies worked with packaging system supplier, Rapid Action Packaging (RAP) and produce suppliers MyFresh and Tulip. Even in an already ‘lean’ supply chain, significant waste reduction opportunities were detected. The project was focused on Greencore’s Park Royal manufacturing site in London.

Key results

Some of the topline outcomes of the exercise included:

  • 1 680 tonnes of waste reduction targeted through 17 projects
  • A further 110 tonnes were diverted from landfill
  • Improved relationships between different members of the supply chain
  • Increased knowledge and environmental awareness of staff

The success of this collaborative project inspired management to use the approach at other sites and on other lines by both Greencore and Sainsbury’s.


"Having a team from across the supply chain and from various business disciplines meant that the effects of potential solutions could be assessed quickly and ensured a win-win scenario for all participants." -- Rick Saini, Group CI Manager, Greencore 

"We are committed to unlocking waste savings opportunities across our supply chains. This project is a great example of supplier partnership and wider collaborations delivering direct improvements and learnings that we will be able to use beyond the project itself." -- Stuart Lendrum, Head of Sustainable & Ethical Sourcing Sainsbury’s 

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