Tesco vows to cut food waste
The announcement was made as the supermarket unveiled new food waste figures for its operations and supply chain.
Using its “Farm to Fork Methodology”, Tesco has tracked 25 of its best selling grocery products in order to gain a detailed understanding of where food waste occurs. The figures reveal that 40% of apples, a quarter of grapes and just under half of bakery items are wasted, while one in ten bananas bought by customers end up in the bin.
Matt Simister, Tesco commercial director of group food, said: “We’ve all got a responsibility to tackle food waste and there is no quick-fix single solution. Little changes can make a big difference, like storing fruit and veg in the right way. Families are wasting an estimated £700 a year and we want to help them keep that money in their pockets, rather than throwing it in the bin.
“We’re playing our part too and making changes to our processes and in store. Ending multi-buy promotions on large packs of bagged salads is one way we can help, but this is just the start and we’ll be reviewing what else we can do. We’re working with our suppliers to try to cut waste at all stages of the journey from farm to fork.”
Tesco said it was removing ‘Display until’ dates from fresh fruit and vegetables with smaller cases being used in store, and 600 bakeries in larger stores have been rearranged to reduce the amount of bread on display. The supermarket is also sharing tips with customers on how to use leftover bread and how to store apples to help them last longer.
Looking at the supply chain, Tesco is working on trials with apple growers to reduce pests and disease and is teaming up with grape producers to trial new varieties that have a longer life. It is also working with suppliers to shorten the time it takes for food to get from the field to store and has introduced a new state-of-the-art temperature control system to ensure bananas last longer while in transportation.
Richard Swannell, director of Waste and Resources Action Programme said: “We welcome Tesco’s approach to tackling food waste across their whole supply chain, and by identifying the hot spots, they can tackle these areas effectively. Food waste is a global issue and collaborative action is essential if we are to successfully reduce food waste and reap the financial and environmental benefits of doing so.”
Tesco’s data also reveals that 28,500 tonnes of food waste were generated in its stores and distribution centres in the first six months of 2013.
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