I Visited SONAE offices with Gustavo Alves Silva where he introduced me to the team and gave me an overview of the business and research activities by SONAE. We discuss the food residues generated by SONAE and which ones could become a source of polyphenols for the FODIAC project; establishing the use of berries and grapes for the polyphenols extraction. In the following weeks, I visited SONAES’s hypermarket Continente, the warehouse and headquarters at Maia.

In the Continente store, we visited the reception facilities and had a brief tour by the store manager. He explained the reception process, storage and management of the fruit waste. The fruit residues are handled as follow; first, the fruit that is not sold on the day and is spoilage and physical damage free stays in the shelf for another day or the days it is still good for their consumption. The fruit with physical damage but still good for human consumption goes for the employees’, and the spoilage fruit goes to animal consumption at Maia Zoo.

In order to understand the consumer behavior and his impact on the possible contribution to the food waste generated I visited several times the Continente hypermarket. I noticed that in order to buy the fruits, consumers often pick between 3 and 5 boxes before selecting one. In this process, consumers tend to throw away the products that they do not prefer in a way that fruit can be physically damaged. However, the people in charge of the fruit section is constantly arraigning the product to avoid piles and restocking the shelves.

In addition, I visited the warehouse located in Maia where I was able to get information about the inventory system. It is divided into two types, Picking by Stock (PBS) which consist mainly in long shelf life products time. The products are picked from the shelves and arranged into a pallet according to the store needs. The second system is Picking By Line (PBL), where the products are received at the warehouse and delivered to the stores on a daily basis. The PBL products are generally premium quality items and short life products like fruit and vegetables. PBL is a highly efficient inventory system since the product doesn’t stay in the warehouse more than a day which allows the company to reduce the amount of waste/ damaged product.

The secondment also included a visit to Catholic University of Porto (Manuela Pintado) and INL facilities (Lorenzo Pastrana).