SirPlus, Bringing The Rescued Food Back to Mainstream

Have you ever woken up with the urge of cycling across the city all the way to Charlottenburg? Well, I just did and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. It was my first trip the SirPlus, for a different kind of shopping experience, SirPlus is a grocery store where you can get the food items rescued food from different supermarkets of  Berlin, the food which otherwise would have gone to dumpsters because of ending date on the labels.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Rescued food commonly refers to edible food that has been “saved” from being thrown away by big-box supermarkets. By law, these shops are not allowed to sell food after its expiry/”best by” date, even though most of the food is still perfectly edible. What “best by” actually means is that after said date the producer cannot guarantee that the quality and taste of the food is going to be unvaried however it does not mean at all that this food is inedible or harmful for your health in any possible way

Fortunately, though, many people have figured out ways to save this delicious food from ending in the garbage bin. And we really need this, since about 13 billions tons of food goes to waste every year worldwide.

One way is dumpster diving, literally jumping in the dumpsters of the supermarket to rescue edible food that has been thrown away (a practice that is illegal in most countries).

Another - legal- way is that of making an agreement with food providers and distributors, in order to receive the food that they can’t sell anymore. And this is exactly what SirPlus does.

They buy food which has past its “best by” date from different distributors and wholesalers (including some well-known brands), and sell it in their own shop for very cheap. Some of the items are even donated to different not-for-profit initiatives in Berlin. In the SirPlus shop, you can also find dry food, dairy products, bread, vegetables and even fruits.

How it all started? 

After living for 5 years on a money strike (also mentioned on Wikipedia), Raphael Fellmar wanted to show more people how they can reduce food waste by eating food that was going to be thrown away. So the idea of food sharing was born, later together with Martin Schott they founded the social enterprise Sirplus. After going through several ups and downs for a year and a half finally last September they were able to open their first rescued food store in Charlottenburg.

Raphael Fellmar.

The business is now going very well, the shop is packed every day, and they hope to take it to the next level soon by creating partnerships with supermarkets like Edeka, REWE etc.

Shopping at SirPlus is a very convenient and worthwhile experience, you will find a wide variety and pay fraction of the cost besides the feeling of preventing the food waste is exhilarating.

However, if you still are not convinced to make a trip all the way to Charlottenburg, just sit tight because within the next two months, SirPlus is going to open two new locations in the city, and I am sure one of them will be close to you.

Before concluding I would like to extend a special thanks to Leonard Witte, Store Manager at SirPlus, for taking the time to talk to me and provide all the information.

SirPlus Store - Rettermarkt
Wilmersdorfer Str. 59, 10627 Berlin

By Federica Fantini
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