At a high-level summit in St Helens this month, Company Shop and Community Shop announced that they would be bringing their pioneering model to tackle food waste to the region, to serve food businesses and support deprived communities across the North West.
Based around a planned, new central hub in Sutton Fold, St Helens, Company Shop will work with retailers, manufacturers and brands in the region to help them reduce the amount of surplus food and products in their supply chains that unnecessarily go to waste. Company Shop is the UK’s largest redistributor and it will save food and products from becoming waste through two routes:
- Through the new Company Shop superstore in Sutton Fold, St Helens, the business will redistribute surplus stock at great prices to local people. Membership of the Company Shop superstore, which is planned to open in January, will be open to people that work in food manufacturing and the emergency services. In store, members will be able to access great food at approximately a third of normal retail prices, helping them to stretch their family budgets.
- At Community Shop, which is the group’s social enterprise, the food is also provided at a discount to its members, however the model is a little different. The regional Community Shops will be smaller stores in areas of acute deprivation, where the surplus is predominantly donated and membership will be open to people who live locally and receive welfare support.
When members shop in store the revenue raised will power the activity of the Community Hub, where they engage, inspire and connect with every member who comes through the doors. From debt advice and employability skills, cook club to home budgeting, they are supporting their members to live fulfilling lives and building stronger individuals and more confident communities.
There are already four Community Shops open around the country, delivering transformative impact. The group plans to deliver up to five regional Community Shops over the next two to three years, supported logistically by the Sutton Fold hub.
At the food industry summit, supported by Walker Morris and compered by KPMG, the planned expansion in to the North West received high-level endorsement from Nestlè, Iceland and a host of representatives from Councils across the Liverpool City Region. Nestlè and Iceland, who already work with Company Shop and Community Shop on a national basis, told the audience that their experience of working with the redistributor was a “win, win,” as it enabled them to reduce waste in a financially sustainable way, whilst helping communities.
Speaking about the planned expansion Founder and Chairman of Company Shop and Community Shop, John Marren, said: “We were overwhelmed by the support from the food industry and local politicians at our food summit.
“We have always been motivated to be different and to make a difference and we are excited to bring our model to the Liverpool City Region.
“Working with manufacturers and retailers we are gearing up to step up to the two big challenges of food waste and food poverty across the North West.”
Company Shop and Community Shop are inviting food businesses and interested councils to get in touch with them to discuss how they can provide solutions to their food surplus and how they can support the development of new Community Shop stores.
In addition to the 45-50 jobs that will be created by the new St Helen’s Company Shop across a range of roles – managers, supervisors, retail assistant roles across full and part time, they also plan to open up to five Community Shops across the wider North West region in the next 2-3 years, each of which will also create 10 jobs.
St Helens Unlimited will bring you more information about the job openings and the official opening in due course.
Main photo.David Salkeld – Non Exec, Company Shop, Trish Twohig – Iceland, Andy Griffiths – Nestle, Richard Naish – Walker Morris, Tom Rumboll – Company Shop, Chris Stott – KPMG