25 July 2023

X5 donates over 13 tonnes of food to people in need in first year of Foodsharing project

Moscow, 25 July 2023 – This time last year, X5 Group launched its food-sharing initiative at several stores in Moscow and Chelyabinsk. By gradually scaling the pilot, the Company has now expanded this initiative to 40 Pyaterochka and Perekrestok stores across seven cities[1] as well as  to two dark stores in the X5 network.

Over the past 12 months, X5 and its partner foundations, Foodbank Rus and Foodsharing, donated more than 13 tonnes of food that is still good to eat but is nearing its expiration date, providing food assistance to a total of more than 26,000 people. The pilot has also improved the Company’s environmental impact: on average, X5 reduced bread write-offs by 25% at each participating store and by about 40% across participating food items[2] at dark stores, thereby reducing food waste.

X5 has engaged 371 volunteers and 130 retail chain employees in expanding and operating the food-sharing project. Attracting and educating volunteers was an essential part of the project’s success: to that end, X5 teamed up with its partner foundations to make a series of short videos that explain how food sharing works and the importance of joining in the effort.

The key technical task during the year was to fine-tune the IT systems supporting the project and transfer the project to automated accounting for distributed products. This has removed unnecessary workloads for staff and has enabled new participating stores to be integrated into the project more quickly. X5 expects to complete this process for Pyaterochka stores in August.

“When we started our food-sharing project a year ago, we saw its potential to rescue food from going to waste and help people in the process, but we were not sure we could pull it off. With our team, we were able to establish the necessary processes, from collecting products to quickly distributing them to people in need, as well as to refine the underlying IT infrastructure. The results we have achieved so far suggest that food sharing holds huge promise. This year, we plan to add eight more dark stores and over 30 retail stores in various Russian cities to the project. At the same time, we believe that X5 and many other players could develop food sharing on a much wider scale if product donations were exempt from VAT. Over the past year, multiple agencies and experts voiced their support for food sharing, so we hope that a relevant law will be adopted soon,” said Galina Sekirinskaya, X5 Group’s Head of Brand and CSR.

How does food sharing work at X5? Every day, employees at participating Pyaterochka and Perekrestok stores select bakery products that are still good to eat but are several days away from their expiration date and hand them over to volunteers from either Foodbank Rus or Foodsharing. The latter collect the rescued products and distribute them to people in their care on the same day. The beneficiary lists mainly include lone seniors and large families in need. The project operates in a similar way at dark stores, with additional products from other categories also being donated in addition to bread.

[1] Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Tomsk, Ryazan and Krasnodar.

[2] More than 80 SKUs – fruit and vegetables, groceries, bread, and selected non-food items.