Mall in Dubai recovers leftovers to reduce food waste

The Feed the Future Fridge initiative aims to provide 200 meals each week to needy people


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 4:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Dec 2022, 5:31 PM

A mall in the UAE is recovering leftover and edible food from its restaurants, cafés, food court, and workforce catering to get it out to the community.

Mall of the Emirates, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim, has launched its first rescue food programme - Feed the Future - in a bid to support the UAE’s target to halve food waste by 2030.

Teaming up with up with technology platform Replate, vendors at Mall of the Emirates will be able to schedule and manage donations, and coordinate pickups with the UAE Food Bank, which will then be distribute to charitable organisations and groups, including workers in communal housing and families.

Tenants can also donate to Mall of the Emirates’ ‘Feed the Future Fridge’ by registering online. This will help those who need it most to have access to free food when they visit the mall. The fridge is located on the first floor, next to Le Burger aisle and Mall of the Emirates aims to provide 200 meals each week.

“As a leading shopping destination, we have an important role to play in supporting and protecting the environment,” said Fuad Sharaf, Managing Director, UAE Shopping Malls, Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

“We look forward to working alongside our tenants in Mall of the Emirates to collectively tackle the critical issue of food waste.

Food waste

According to Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, the UAE ranks among the top nations for per capita waste generation in the world. Roughly 38 per cent of the food prepared every day in the country is wasted. The decomposition process of food waste emits methane gas, which is reportedly 25 times more damaging than CO2.

Considering that the UAE imports 90 per cent of food, it makes the country susceptible to food scarcity and insecurity. To address this issue, ‘Feed the Future’ utilises Replate to automate the food rescue process and connect F&B outlets in the mall to communities in need, while adhering to high sustainability criteria in food preparation.

“The future directions of the UAE Food Bank include expanding partnerships with food establishments, companies and hotels to donate surplus food” said Sayed Essam Al Hashimi, Acting Director of Food Security Department at Dubai Municipality, representing the UAE Food Bank. “Digital transformation ensures easy access to the largest number of beneficiaries and donors, contributing to the circular economy.”

The platform will also track the environmental and social impact of ‘Feed the Future.’ F&B outlets will have access to the total pounds of food they’ve donated each month, along with meals created, water saved, and carbon dioxide diverted from the atmosphere in the process. They will also be provided with source reduction tools to monitor patterns, reduce future waste, and save money.

F&B outlets currently participating in the initiative include Besh Turkish Kitchen, Nando's, P. F. Chang's, Paul Café, Pinkberry, Shake Shack, The Butcher Shop & Grill, The Cheesecake Factory and Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel.


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