Santa Maria UK Foodservice
Food waste

Food waste

One third of all food produced in the world is thrown away. Food is wasted along the entire chain, from farming to consumption, and for different reasons. Such waste has to be curbed. As a food producer, we naturally have a responsibility and an important role in helping to reduce wastage in various ways.

Santa Maria is co-financing the first social supermarket in the Nordic countries

Santa Maria is one of the co-financiers in "Matmissionen" (literally, the food mission) in Veddesta, Sweden. Matmissionen is a supermarket that aims to reduce food waste by, among other things, selling merchandise with a short best-before-date. The project also aims to make it easier for people in financial difficulties by charging a third of the average retail price, whilst also creating job opportunities for people currently outside the job market. The store is a result of a collaboration between Stockholm Stadsmission and Axfood.

The initiative is inspired by the amount of food that is being thrown away unnecessarily and the expected plan is to be able stop approximately 200 tons of food from being wasted in 2016. Santa Maria is one of the co-financiers and donate products for sale.

Reducing waste from production

Our factories work actively to reduce waste from production. Every year specific targets are set on annual waste reduction, and this is continuously monitored. Our principle is that as much as possible of the food waste that occurs should be used as animal feed or recovered through the production of biogas. All waste from our tortilla and taco production, for example, is used as swine feed.

Production residue from tortilla factories makes pigs happy

Our tortilla factory in Landskrona, Sweden creates residue during production. This includes dough and bread which is discarded for being the wrong shape or size, or dough balls that have gone stale. We spent a long time searching for someone to take care of the waste products. Finally we found Bengt Bengtsson at Kingelstad Gris AB. Bengt is a pig breeder and he met our criteria: he doesn’t mind changes in volume, is willing to pay for the waste products that are used for the production of animal feed or in his sludge collector to make fertiliser for his fields, and his farm is close to our factory, which means a short transport distance and thus less environmental impact.

Bengt acquired the appropriate equipment for the handling of the waste products − ranging from direct physical handling to the process of making animal feed out of the dough and bread − and then we got started. It may sound simple but the production of animal feed is actually a carefully controlled process, since the slightest changes in nutrient composition can upset the pigs’ stomachs and lead to problems in their growth.

Our long term goal is naturally to minimise the amount of waste in our production altogether, but in the meantime we are pleased to be working with Bengt knowing that we are making many pigs happy.

Less food waste with a new piling system:

In 2015, Santa Maria’s tortilla factory in Landskrona, Sweden reduced its food waste at one of its tortilla production lines by changing to a new stacker. The previous stacker was identified as the major root cause for food waste due to mechanical problems. The new solution has greatly solved these problems and reduced the amount of food waste from 11% to 6%.

Reducing waste at home

We also want to help reduce waste in your kitchen. By developing products, packaging and recipes that help you use the entire content of a package, we hope to help you ensure that as little as possible ends up in the rubbish bin. Here packaging has an important role. Read more about how packaging can help reduce food waste.

We also feel that we can inspire people to reduce waste. A few years ago we launched a campaign called “Enjoy your school dinners − the best food is the food that gets eaten”. The aim of the campaign was to help reduce food waste in school cafeterias.

Reducing waste in factories, warehouses and offices

In our factories, warehouses and offices, we also work on reducing waste that is not food. We constantly seek ways to increase the recycling of waste that cannot be avoided. We also work in cooperation with waste contractors to find ways to recycle the packaging materials that come with our raw materials.


Santa Maria UK Ltd ∙ Nimbus House, Maidstone Road ∙ Kingston, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK10 0BD ∙ Telephone numbers: UK careline: 01908 933109 ∙ ROI: 1800 577 449