THE GOOD FOOD: The supermarket combating food waste

In Cologne, THE GOOD FOOD presents a unique approach for a store: by working with farmers and producers, the small supermarket in the district of Ehrenfeld sells food that has been salvaged from being discarded as waste. Each individual product in the range of goods sold here reduces food waste and increases the efficiency of the supply chain. This saves water, preserves the soil and reduces CO2 emissions.

Around eleven million tonnes of food are thrown away every year in Germany, five to ten per cent of which occurs in the retail sector alone. Fruit and vegetables are discarded before they even reach the market because they are too misshapen, too small or too big and do not conform to marketing standards. And despite the fact that a lot of products can still be used without causing any problems even after their sell-by date has expired and their sale is not banned, retailers discard them.

Engine for progress:

  • CO2 emissions are reduced as a result of less food being wasted
  • Saves water and preserves the soil
  • Strengthens regional links
  • Educational and social impacts

1 of 6

Photo: Jana Ludwig

Vegetables sometimes grow in a misshapen way – but they still taste good and fill you up just the same.

Giving food a second chance

These products find a new outlet at THE GOOD FOOD. Producers, retailers and wholesalers donate food that is no longer suitable for normal sale. A baker regularly delivers goods left over from the previous day. The team at THE GOOD FOOD is also actively involved, going into the fields to pick up vegetables that are left behind after the main harvest is finished from the farmers who are collaborating with them, and regularly collecting the previous day’s goods from a bakery. For the shop’s partners, this approach does not represent competition, but rather a useful addition – they are taking a joint stance to combat food waste.

The supermarket offers an extensive range of foodstuffs which are past their sell-by date: tinned and preserved foods, unpackaged food, misshapen fruit and vegetables, dried goods and beverages to be decanted into the customers’ own bottles – the wide range on offer gives the customers diversity of choice. Meat and fish are not offered for sale due to the effort and high health standards involved.

Pay what it is worth to you.

At THE GOOD FOOD, the customers themselves decide how much their shopping is worth to them. In this way, the supermarket shows that everyone can do something to combat food waste, irrespective of their level of income.

More than a shop

Not only is food offered for sale, but workshops and film evenings are also organised. As a meeting place, the shop provides information on the topic of food waste. With its idea, THE GOOD FOOD is becoming a pioneer for similar store concepts all over Germany and has already inspired others to follow in its footsteps.

Photo: Jana Ludwig

Salvaging food from being thrown away makes you happy. We are doing something for the environment – come and join in!

Nicole Klaski, Founder, THE GOOD FOOD