Don't Waste Food SC: Food Retailers & Manufacturers

Approximately 45% of all fruits and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, and 20% of meat and dairy products are wasted by suppliers, retailers, and consumers every year.

Quick tips to prevent & reduce food waste for food retailers & manufacturers:

  • Conduct a waste audit. Determine what your waste is and how much it's costing your business. 
  • Partner with local farmers. Meet with a local farmer to plan your produce availability around what is in season. 
  • Buy smart. Adjustments in purchasing can save money and potential food waste. 
  • Love ugly fruits & veggies. Stores are not required to purchase only perfect produce. Reduce waste by not discarding those that look different.  
  • Keep an accurate inventory. Use the FIFO method: first in, first out. Upgrade your inventory system to help manage the process. 
  • Be creative. Create demonstrations and tastings with overstocked items. 
  • Donate. Instead of tossing extra produce, canned goods or prepared but unserved food, contact a local food bank or shelter. Feeding the Carolinas Foodbanks   
  • DHEC supports and encourages donation. Is it legal for retailers and manufacturers to donate? YES!
DWFSC Donation Info Card OR-1325
  • Educate your consumers. Make sure your customers know what your store is doing to reduce food waste and encourage them to help. 
  • Compost. Most businesses will need to contract with a compost hauler/vendor or find a community garden/compost area. Vendor Info


  • Potential cost savings.
  • Feeding people, not landfills.
  • Gives businesses an opportunity to enhance their reputation with guests, staff and investors. 
  • Employee engagement in the program increases job satisfaction.

Other Resources:


Businesses Food Waste Recycling Smart Business