DEFRA Supermarket Referral Scheme Privacy Notice

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Who we are and what we do?

This privacy notice is to explain and provide you with information about how we will process your personal data under the Supermarket Referral Scheme being organised by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). This notice also tells you how we collect and hold information about you in relation to the unprecedented challenges we face as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

If you have questions regarding this service or our privacy practices, you can contact us by e-mail or in writing at the address below:

Customer Resolution Centre

Waltham Forest Magistrates Building,
1 Farnan Avenue,
E17 4NX


The purpose of the supermarket referral scheme is to put clinically vulnerable individuals and/or those required to self-isolate under the national test, track and trace programme, in contact with supermarkets so they can secure an online delivery slot. In order to do this we will specifically collect from you your first and family name, address, post code, home telephone number, mobile telephone number and email address.

As part of the Government's action plan during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a focus on ensuring that vulnerable individuals in the community are able to access food suppliers, critical medicine and personal support. The Supermarket Referral Scheme is part of a series of activities aimed at helping clinically vulnerable individuals secure access to food. This group includes:

  • Individuals unable to access food as they are self-isolating at home due to exposure to COVID-19 (or suspected exposure in the absence of verification through testing);
  • Individuals unable to access food as they are following enhanced social distancing. This includes individuals outside the shielded group but with pre-existing health conditions or circumstances which mean they are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19;
  • Individuals unable to access food due to COVID-19 impact on food delivery. This group includes disabled individuals and individuals with long-term health conditions For example: neurological conditions, mental health issues, physical disabilities, the blind and partially sighted, who rely on food delivery via supermarkets or support networks, which may have been cut off due to increased delivery demand and/or their support network self-isolating / distancing;

Individuals required to self-isolate under the national test, track and trace programme.

The legal basis for processing your data for the purposes of the Supermarket Referral Scheme run by Defra is that you have given your consent to so this.

If you do not provide your consent for us to share your data with Defra then you will not be able to access the reserved delivery slots. We can, however, discuss this situation with you and provide alternative assistance.

How the scheme is run Click to get info

If you are eligible and we have received your consent to do so, we then share your data with Defra. The personal information you have provided will then be shared by Defra with the supermarket company you have agreed to be referred to via a secure encrypted download. 

  • The supermarket company will use this data to determine if you are an existing customer and if they can determine whether they are able to offer you a priority delivery slot for a food delivery. If you are not an existing customer you will be asked to create an account with them in order to be allocated a delivery slot. 
  • The supermarket company will contact you directly by email or telephone to explain the process for allocating you a priority delivery slot or to assist you with setting-up an account.

The supermarket company will let you know directly if they cannot offer you a prioritised delivery slot for any reason. They will tell Defra if they cannot offer you a delivery slot and the reasons why. This information will then be passed back to the Council as well as details about the successful matching of delivery slots to LBWF residents. This information may then be used by the Council for reporting and future service improvement purposes. 

For the purpose of the Supermarket Referral Scheme, we will only share your personal information with Defra.  

Defra, in turn, will share the information required for you to benefit from the Supermarket Referral Scheme with the supermarket company you have agreed to be referred to. It is important that you read the next paragraph carefully in order to understand your continued data protection rights.

The Council does not have control of your information subsequently held by the supermarket of your choice. If you are asked to create a new customer account by the supermarket company in order to benefit from the Supermarket Referral Scheme and because you are not an existing customer or account holder of that company, you are strongly advised to read the company’s Privacy Notice and Data Protection Policy very carefully to understand how they will use your personal information. It is your responsibility to access and set any marketing, cookie and security preferences with the supermarket company.  

Your data will be kept by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a maximum period of 18 months from the commencement of the scheme due to the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the pandemic and will be subject to review.

The Council will only keep your information for as long as it necessary, taking into account Government advice and the on-going risk presented by Coronavirus.  As a minimum the information outlined in this privacy notice will be kept for the duration of the COVID-19 response. Where possible we will anonymise your personal data so that you cannot be identified. When the information is no longer needed for this purpose, it will be securely deleted.

Our Data Protection Officer is Mark Hynes. You can contact him at

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice

These are included in the relevant section of the Corporate Privacy Notice.

If we’re unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).