Food for Life-IFCO Partnership takes a bite out of food waste and hunger in Ontario, Canada, communities

written by IFCO SYSTEMS, 9th December 2019, in News

Food for Life, a food rescue organization in Ontario, Canada, reported the amount of food donations from food retailers has increased following the donation of 5,000 IFCO Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) annually, allowing the organization to serve more food to those in need in the communities it serves.

"We can’t thank IFCO enough for its generosity in donating their RPCs," said Graham Hill, Food for Life Executive Director. "IFCO’s containers make our operation more efficient from beginning to end – making it easier for companies to get us their donations and easier for us to get rescued food to those in need. The impact has been tremendous and that is why we call IFCO RPCs ‘little agents of change.’"

Under the innovative partnership, IFCO, the world’s largest operator of RPCs, donates approximately 5,000 containers annually to Food for Life in support of its mission to rescue good food that would otherwise be sent to landfill, and share it with non-profits and neighbourhood food programs that support individuals who are food insecure in the regions of Halton and Hamilton. Food for Life impacts the lives of more than 55,000 people each month.

"We are proud to support Food for Life in its mission to rescue food and combat food insecurity by providing meals to those in need," said Dan Martin, president of IFCO North America. "It is a natural partnership for us because we share the goal of stamping-out food insecurity and reaching a zero-waste food supply chain in Canada and globally."

Food for Life, designated a Top Impact Charity, rescues 4.2 million pounds of good food (85% of it is fresh food) annually through a unique supply chain system. Prior to the initiation of the Food for Life-IFCO partnership, rescued food arrived in IFCO RPCs – a popular food container used by growers and retailers, from retailers and producers. Those donations then had to be converted to cardboard boxes for shipping and handling by Food for Life to ensure the crates were returned into the IFCO system.

As part of its commitment to the communities it serves, IFCO agreed to donate the use of its RPCs all the way through the Food for Life supply chain, eliminating the need for packaging transfers. "This partnership fundamentally impacts our ability to move food in the most sustainable way possible and also reduces damage to food during additional distribution" says Graham Hill. The results were amazing. Retailers found it easier to donate food, resulting in a donation increases of food and more meals served in local communities. In addition, Food for Life saw a sharp increase in efficiency within its operation due to the standardization and stacking ability of the RPCs.

The collaboration has also generated impressive sustainability returns. The use of IFCO RPCs reduced food waste within the food rescue operation and is reducing the need to use and dispose of cardboard boxes used for shipping and handling.

"IFCO RPCs have been a game-changer for us and they will be a permanent part of what we do moving forward. I hope this partnership also inspires others to do the same thing," concluded Mr. Hill.

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