METRO announces early Extension of Partnership with German Food Bank Network

01 October 2019Download

The international wholesale and food specialist has been the main sponsor of "Tafel Deutschland e.V." for 13 years. In addition, many of the regional partnerships in the 103 METRO stores throughout Germany have existed for more than two decades.

METRO extends its partnership with 'Tafel Deutschland e.V.'
METRO extends its partnership with Tafel Deutschland e.V.

Ahead of the end date of the current sponsoring agreement with Germany’s food bank network Tafel Deutschland e. V., the international wholesale specialist is extending its commitment to the work of the organisation for a further 3 years. This was announced by METRO AG on the occasion of German Food Bank Day on 28 September. The funds invested by METRO are used by Tafel Deutschland e. V. to, among other purposes, provide a professional organisational structure for its work as the food banks’ umbrella association. 

"The food banks make a valuable contribution on multiple levels," says Heiko Hutmacher, Labour Director of METRO AG and member of the Management Board responsible for sustainability.

Hutmacher: "They reliably support people in need in this country by supplying perfectly edible food that otherwise would end up on landfill. And they hold a mirror up to society by criticising the often thoughtless way we deal with food and calling on us to have a greater appreciation for what we eat."

Jochen Brühl, Chairman of Tafel Deutschland e. V., says: "We are elated that METRO will continue to work as our reliable partner over the next 3 years, ensuring professional food bank operations for the future. Since 1993, more than 60,000 helpers – most of them volunteers – have been building a bridge between an overabundance of food on the one hand and a lack of food on the other. Through their dedication, they not only save edible, quality food from being thrown away and assist 1.65 million people in need, but also make an important contribution to climate protection."

Main Financial Sponsor since 2006

Since 2006, METRO AG has supported Tafel Deutschland e. V. as its main financial sponsor. This cooperation with the regional food banks, which pick up surplus food daily at the company’s 103 wholesale stores in Germany, has existed in some cases for over 25 years. And it serves as a role model for many METRO countries. The company now partners with food banks in 21 nations. METRO additionally works alongside the non-profit organisations in the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA).

8 Million Meals for the Food Banks

METRO has committed itself to reducing food waste within the company by half by 2025. The food banks are a reliable partner in this effort, as they help METRO save food from the refuse bin – food that can no longer be sold due to an approaching best-before date, for example, but is of faultless quality and perfectly edible. In financial year 2017/18 alone, METRO Germany donated food that is sufficient for around 8 million meals to the food banks; thus supporting people experiencing financial and personal hardship.

For the next period of this contractual partnership between METRO and the food banks, efficiency will be a central theme. The food banks are helping to advance modernisation processes such as the digitisation of delivery notes, the receipt of goods and route planning. When these processes are digitised, this means, above all, more time and better planning. This helps food bank employees and volunteers, as they no longer have to process time-consuming goods deliveries manually on paper on-site, and they can plan routes better – leaving more time for the interpersonal aspects of the work, including direct contact with their clientele. But efficiency also means being better able to save food. METRO supports the food banks in this process with the know-how of digitisation experts from the company.

Increasing Appreciation for Food in Society

Another important part of the work of the food banks is to advocate for the appreciation of food in society. This was the focus of a joint travelling exhibition organised by the food banks and METRO to mark the 25th anniversary of the food banks in Germany. It has been on tour since autumn 2018 and has made 10 stops thus far.

Tafel Deutschland e. V. functions as an umbrella association for the more than 940 local food banks in Germany. Nationwide, numerous food banks celebrate the annual German Food Bank Day by holding special events around the day of action to call attention to the organisation’s dedication. With open houses, ‘long tables’, informational events or concerts, the food banks communicate their work to the public and create places of encounter and exchange. In this way, they draw attention nationwide to poverty in society, while at the same time recruiting volunteers.

METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 24 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and freelancers with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been the sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years. The company operates in 36 countries and employs more than 150,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2017/18, METRO generated sales of €36.5 billion. In September 2018 METRO AG initiated the divestment process for the food retail chain Real with its 34,000 employees.