Kellogg’s donates damaged packs of cereal to charities. Photo: Kellog’s
Putting damaged packs to good use
As one of the largest companies for cereals in the world, the American Kellogg Company (Kellogg’s) has been committed to charitable and environmental projects for many years now. Damaged packs of cornflakes have been donated to charitable organisations and cereal waste has been used for making beer since 2019.
Why should damaged packs that don’t make it onto our supermarket shelves simply be thrown away? Kellogg’s couldn’t see any reason for this unnecessary wastage and decided, without further ado, to donate these packs to charities. The company thus sends out a clear message on global food wastage. According to the estimations from the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations (FAO),1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted or lost in other ways worldwide each year.
This also means that CO2 is released and unnecessary amounts of water are used. More and more companies and organisations are therefore making efforts to put an end to food waste and loss by launching individual campaigns. The Save Food Initiative is just one of these. The initiative started by the FAO, the UN Environment Programme and Messe Düsseldorf in 2011 already has over a thousand members and is committed to combating the global food crisis and boosting sustainability by reducing food waste.
Three years ago, France was the first country in the world to pass a law that stated that their national supermarkets would no longer throw away unsold food but were instead obliged to give it to charitable organisations. If supermarkets do not give their food away, they can be fined up to 3,750 Euro. The current state of affairs: According to statements from the government, donations to the food banks have increased by around 20% and around 46,000 tonnes of food have been saved per year since the law was implemented.
The British subsidiary of Kellogg’s American parent company also wants to make a contribution to reducing food waste. This is achieved by donating prepackaged food which cannot be sold because its outer packaging has been damaged in transport to charitable organisations, among other initiatives. In 2018 alone, Kellogg’s UK provided almost 10 million portions of food for people in need by working in collaboration with its charity partners, FareShare and the Trussell Trust.
Finding other uses for biodegradable waste
In addition to donating unsellable packets, the Kellogg Company also prioritises recycling biodegradable waste. This waste is produced by the cleaning processes, quality checks or refitting machines to create different products when manufacturing cereals.
The resulting biodegradable waste is used to brew beer, to give one example. Remnants of cornflakes that cannot be sold due their size or consistency are mixed into beer by the Seven Bro7hers Brewery. This endows their Throw Away IPA with an unmistakeable sweet flavour, thanks to the cornflakes. Even better, ten pence from every can sold is donated to charitable causes. This meant that 12.5% of biodegradable waste could be put to good use in the first year of this initiative. The usual barley malt was replaced with coco pops and rice crispies for their Sling it out Stout, which has notes of chocolate, and Cast-off Pale Ale.
Food waste created during the production of Kellogg’s cereals is used sustainably in beer production. Photo: Seven Bro7hers