One third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted annually. Fazer’s goal is to prevent the waste and loss of raw materials.

Preventing food waste is a key focus area for Fazer. In 2016, Fazer developed a Waste Prevention and Material Loss Plan for the whole of Fazer Group. The plan outlines a number of targets to prevent waste and material loss with an ambition to move the business into a direction that supports a circular economy. The plan includes waste targets for Fazer Food Services, Fazer Cafés and Gateau bakery shops in Sweden, which were approved during 2015. In addition, it specifies targets for Fazer Confectionery, Fazer Bakery and Fazer Mills to reduce waste by 10 per cent by 2020.

Fazer's Waste Hierarchy

Fazer has adopted the principles of the European Union’s waste hierarchy: Prevention, Preparation for Re-use, Recycling, Recovery and Disposal. In practice, this means that we should always work to prevent waste from occurring as a result of our operations. If waste cannot be avoided, we shall work to facilitate re-use. Thereafter, we shall consider the options in order of recycling and recovery (energy recovery). Sometimes, however, sending waste for energy recovery can be as good as sending waste for recycling. Fazer has a target not to send any waste to landfill by 2020.

Preventing waste in Fazer’s restaurants

Preventing avoidable food waste is a key focus area for Fazer Food Services, and several actions have been taken to achieve this. A lot of effort has been made to find uniform ways to monitor and measure waste in restaurants across all markets.

During 2016, Fazer Food Services organised waste campaigns to reduce display and plate waste. The target was to reduce food waste by 10 grams per portion by 2017, with five grams coming from storage and display waste and five from plate waste.

As a result of the campaigns and ongoing efforts between them, Fazer Food Services was able to reduce storage and display waste by 6.8 grams per portion in 2016. The company serves around 100 million portions per year, which means that the percentage can be translated to a reduction of 680 tonnes annually. To reduce plate waste, Fazer Food Services conducted waste campaigns in restaurants during 2016. The efforts will continue during 2017.

The work is not physically limited to the restaurants: Fazer has also examined ways to reduce food waste further down the value chain. For example, in order to reduce waste, Fazer has procured second-class vegetables that do not fulfil aesthetic requirements. A malformed carrot tastes just as delicious as a perfectly shaped one.

Taking action to reduce waste in our bakeries, confectionery sites and mills

Fazer Way in Production is Fazer’s common way of working in the production of bakery and confectionery products. It is about unifying the processes and ways of working, and continuously improving them. Eliminating waste is one of the core principles of Fazer Way in Production. Fazer Way in Production is all about people – everyone can contribute to improve our way of working. Fazer Bakery, Fazer Confectionery and Fazer Mills are committed to reducing waste by 10 per cent per produced tonne until 2020, using 2014 as the baseline.

Most of the production waste is used as raw material for bio ethanol, and the rest is used for animal feed, mostly to pigs. In this way, Fazer has managed to reduce the amount of food waste ending up as landfill waste.

Donating food

We try to prevent overproduction in our bakeries, confectionery factories and restaurants with careful planning. Despite this, eatable food and bakery and confectionery products are left over. We currently donate food to food aid in Finland, Russia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

When we donate food to charities, the food will be used the way it was intended to and, at the same time, we are able to diminish unnecessary food waste. In Finland, we donate products to food aid through, for example, Helsinki Missio and Veikko and Lahja Hursti’s Charitable Association.

Waste reduction targets have also been adopted in Fazer Cafés and the Gateau bakery shop chain in Sweden. Fazer Cafés decided to put more focus on reducing food waste by developing a process for donating unsold food to charity and reducing organic waste. The Gateau bakery shop chain in Sweden adopted a target to reduce display waste by 40 per cent until 2020. Gateau today donates a large amount of unsold bread to charities.

Stakeholder cooperation

Fazer is involved in national and European stakeholder networks to reduce food waste. Fazer also sponsors the RSA Student Design Awards, which challenges emerging designers around the world to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues – such as food waste – through design thinking.