I'm reading - Fighting food poverty and stopping food waste: UK’s first social supermarket named Community Partner of the Year at Food and Drink Federation Awards.

03.02.2014 - News

Fighting food poverty and stopping food waste:
UK’s first social supermarket
named Community Partner of the Year at Food and Drink Federation Awards.

Community Shop, the UK’s first network of social supermarkets delivered by Company Shop, has won the ‘Community Partner Award’ at the prestigious Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards 2014 in London. 


The accolade recognises a company that is making a real difference within its community. In a highly competitive category, Community Shop was shortlisted alongside Central England Co-operative, General Mills, Kettle Foods, Mars Foods and Siemens. 


Community Shop is a social enterprise that redistributes surplus food from the supply chain and makes it available at heavily discounted prices to those living in areas of deprivation and experiencing in-work poverty. 


Its pilot store was launched in the South Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe in December 2013 – one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK – as a membership-based store for those in receipt of income-related benefits. It gained widespread national and international media coverage upon its launch, and was highlighted as a ‘Future Icon’ of sustainable, socially impactful consumer business practice by The Big Issue magazine. 


Working with most of the major retailers and many top brands, including ASDA, Morrisons, The Co-operative, M&S, Tesco, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, Tetley, Young’s and Muller amongst others, industry support has been significant, and continues to grow. 


But it is not just access to discounted food that marks Community Shop out as Consumer Initiative of the Year. Members of the store also benefit from access to its ‘Community Hub’; where they can engage with professional mentors and seek support with budgeting and debt advice, skills training and participate in classes. The Community Hub Success Plan aims to provide a route back to financial independence, and towards mainstream retail.


Delivering maximum social, environmental and economic impact from surplus product is the driving motivation behind Community Shop, supported by Company Shop: the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food. Following the success of the Goldthorpe pilot, preparations are well underway to launch a second pilot store in London, before expanding the network across the UK. 

Collecting the award, Mark Game, Managing Director of Company Shop, said:


“This is such a proud and humble moment for all of us. Thank you! We’ve been bowled over by the support received for Community Shop so far.  To be named the Community Partner of the Year is just incredible.


“Company Shop has always viewed surplus food as a valuable resource and our social supermarket model shows just how much of a positive social impact we are able to have – both on people’s lives and on the industry as a whole. 


“As we continue to expand, we’re keen to work with even more of the grocery supply chain and hope tonight will encourage more people to come on board. We’re excited about what the next twelve months have in store, and look forward to our continued expansion across the UK.”

The Food and Drink Federation is the voice of the UK food and drink industry. The FDF Awards are widely recognised as one of the most coveted awards in the food and drink industry, celebrating the very best of innovation, creativity and achievements in the UK’s food and drink industry, one of the most challenging and fast-paced sectors in the UK. 


Company Shop was also amongst the finalists for the FDF’s ‘Growth Business Award’, having taken its staffing levels over 500 people for the first time, investing in a new £8m headquarters in Tankersley, and handling over 30,000 tonnes of surplus food. It won ‘Best Business Initiative’ at last year’s Grocer Gold Awards ceremony, and was recently shortlisted for the ‘Best Initiative in British Food’ category at the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2014, and as ‘Consumer Initiative of the Year’ at this year’s Grocer Gold Awards. It has also been shortlisted in the forthcoming IGD Awards, Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards, and Social Enterprise Awards.