• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Denmark just took a major step to eliminate food waste
Princess Marie (left) helped open the new market on Monday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

Denmark just took a major step to eliminate food waste

Melanie Haynes · 22 Feb 2016, 14:24

Published: 22 Feb 2016 13:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2016 14:24 GMT+01:00

With the opening of WeFood on Monday, Copenhagen is now home to the nation's first supermarket selling only food that would be otherwise destined for the rubbish bin. 
 
"WeFood is the first supermarket of its kind in Denmark and perhaps the world as it is not just aimed at low-income shoppers but anyone who is concerned about the amount of food waste produced in this country. Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue," Per Bjerre from the NGO behind the market, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (DanChurch Aid), said at the opening. 
 
His sentiments were echoed by the Danish food minister.
 
"It's ridiculous that food is just thrown out or goes to waste. It is bad for the environment and it is money spent on absolutely nothing. A supermarket like WeFood makes so much sense and is an important step in the battle to combat food waste," Hansen said.
 
WeFood offers a variety of foods including bread, fruit and vegetables, diary, meats, frozen goods and dry foods that otherwise would have been thrown out either because it was beyond its stated purchase date or because of packaging damage. Prices at the store will be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than those in normal supermarkets.
 
With over 700,000 tonnes of food thrown away in Denmark every year, WeFood is seen as another important symbolic step in a nation that has already cut its food waste by a full 25 percent over the past five years
 
 
"The new supermarket with surplus food is a good start in the fight against food and resource waste. But there are still barriers and rules that do nothing for food safety but make it difficult to give surplus food away," Hansen said, adding that she plans to discuss EU rules with her European colleagues. 
 
Monday's grand opening was the result of over a year to get the WeFood project off the ground. One million kroner was raised by crowdfunding and DanChurch Aid had to work closely with politicians to overcome legislative obstacles in regard to the sale of food with expired dates before the shop could go ahead. Only once the existing rules had been changed was the shop possible.
 
The supermarket was originally planned to be opened in Nørrebro due to the high concentration of students and young people concerned about the issue of food waste but the rents in this area proved  too high for the charity project. The project is instead located in Amager. 
 
Story continues below…
Operated by DanChurch Aid, the project is backed by Føtex and Danske Supermarked, which will be providing the bulk of the stock in the shop. Fresh fruit and vegetables will come from a smaller independent supplier.
 
The shop is run by volunteers (and there is a need for more) and the profits go towards DanChurch Aid's work in the world's poorest countries.
 
"That the money from the supermarket goes to a good cause in an extra bonus," Hansen said.
 
If the first WeFood shop proves a success, the charity said it would open more in other cities across Denmark.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Photo gallery
IN PICS: Celebrating Copenhagen beer... in Boston
Danish beer culture took over Boston's City Hall Plaza for the weekend. Photo: Samer Khudairi

What happens when Mikkeller decides to throw a beer party in Beantown? The Local had a photographer there to find out.

Danes acquitted of aiding 2015 Copenhagen attacker
The trial of the four men was held under heavy security in Copenhagen. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Four men accused of helping a Copenhagen gunman who killed a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard were acquitted on terror charges.

Danish kids among the fittest in the world: study
The study compared kids' 20m shuttle run times. Photo: Mikkel Zibrandtsen/Flickr

Danish kids have some of the highest level of aerobic fitness in the world, according to a recently-released international study.

Copenhagen police arrest teen as car fires continue
Firefighters extinguish a car fire in Valby over the weekend. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Scanpix

UPDATED: A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with one of the 11 new fires over the weekend.

Danish nationalists hand out cans of 'refugee spray'
The party said it distributed more than 100 cans of its 'refugee spray'. Photo: Daniel Carlsen/ Danskernes Parti

The nationalist Danes’ Party elicited strong reactions went it took to the streets of Haderslev to hand out cans of what it called ‘refugee spray’.

Video
Metallica to open new Copenhagen arena
Metallica's James Hetfield at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in New York City's Central Park on Saturday. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Scanpix

Copenhagen’s coming multi-purpose arena will be opened in grand style with two nights of shows with the legendary band.

Melting Greenland ice could expose Cold War waste
If the ice melt is no longer offset by snowfall, toxic chemicals could start leaking into the environment. Photo: an-Morten Bjørnbakk / Scanpix

A snow-covered former US army base in Greenland -- dubbed "a city under ice" -- could leak pollutants into the environment as the climate changes, raising difficult questions over who is responsible for a clean-up.

Denmark’s asylum numbers at five-year low
Refugees and immigrants at a 'welcome party' earlier this month. Photo: Uffe Weng/Scanpix

Fewer than 300 people sought asylum in August, according to new figures released by the Immigration Ministry.

Police cameras in Pusher Street promptly torn down
Two police video cameras were installed in Christiania on Friday and more will come, police said. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Copenhagen Police on Friday installed surveillance cameras in the infamous stretch of Christiania, but they lasted only a few hours.

Denmark leads effort to stop money flow to Isis
File photo of children next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and Isis in Mosul, Iraq . Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Scanpix

A former head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has been tapped to dry up the terror group's finances.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
2,238
jobs available