St Austell joins forces with Olio to 'fight food waste'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Fighting food waste: St Austell partners with Olio to distribute surplus food (Pictured: Andres Figar from Olio and Elle Sambrook from St Austell Brewery)
Fighting food waste: St Austell partners with Olio to distribute surplus food (Pictured: Andres Figar from Olio and Elle Sambrook from St Austell Brewery)

Related tags Social responsibility Food Multi-site pub operators

St Austell Brewery has partnered with food waste app Olio to distribute surplus items from its South-West pubs.

Any food or ingredients which can’t be used by St Austell’s managed pub estate will be collected by Olio volunteers at the end of each day, with pictures then uploaded to the app for locals to request and collect - often in as little as 30 minutes.

The Cornish operator and brewer, which is the first pubco to partner with Olio, launched the scheme earlier this week across 20 of its managed pubs and has planned to extend the initiative to all of its 184 venues, including its tenanted and leased sites.

Once fully rolled out across the company’s managed estate, St Austell expects almost 15,000 portions of food will be donated in a year, providing food for 342 local families.

In addition, the partnership adds to the firms’ efforts to reduce its waste and greenhouse gases, which already include composting all its food waste to generate electricity and fertiliser for the South-West.

Incredibly uplifting 

St Austell head of sustainability Elle Sambrook described the partnership as “mutually beneficial”.

“This ground-breaking partnership will allow our business to reduce its food waste while supporting local communities.

“As a business, we have set ourselves big goals including eliminating edible waste and reaching net zero by 2040.

“It’s incredibly uplifting to see our pub teams getting behind the scheme to fight food waste while supporting their locals.

“Community is at the heart of our pubs and the teams go above and beyond to support those around them", she said.

During the scheme's trial, which took place for six weeks across nine of the brewery’s pubs, more than 300 portions of food were donated, and 32 local families fed, amounting to 70kg of edible food. 

Pioneering footsteps

Food items such as tins of beans, smoked fish, scones, surplus carvery and soup were among the surplus items provided to people in the community.

According to research conducted by Olio, around 45% of those who requested food via the app were part of households living below the poverty line.

Olio co-founder and COO Saasha Celestial-One said: ​“We’re delighted St Austell Brewery and its pubs are joining Olio on our mission to fight food waste. 

“As global temperatures continue to rise, and the UK’s cost of living crisis continues, it’s never been more important for businesses to commit to supporting their local communities by redistributing surplus food. 

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome St Austell Brewery as Olio’s first major pub chain partner, and hope that many others will follow in its pioneering footsteps.” 

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