Tesco announces accelerated food waste targets – Retail Times


Today, Tesco highlights its accelerated plans to halve food waste in its own operations by 2025, five years ahead of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (by 2030).

In a year of unprecedent challenges for retailers, suppliers and customers, tackling food waste has never been more urgent. It not only contributes to climate change, but it also has an impact on our pockets.

Tesco has already achieved a 45% reduction in food waste across its own operations against the 2016/17 baseline. However, the retailer knows there is still more to do despite just 0.35% of food it handled, last year, ending up as waste.

So, to meet this accelerated target, it has developed a plan that will see:

  • Continued investment in its existing food surplus redistribution programmes, including partnerships with FareShare and OLIO, to ensure even more surplus food is diverted to people who need it most.
  • An expansion of its supplier partnership programme, to further help suppliers to reduce food waste in a variety of ways, including stocking ‘wonky’ fruit and veg, working with suppliers to manage bumper crops; and helping suppliers distribute surplus food to local communities.
  • The diversion of more surplus food (that cannot go to humans) to suppliers who can utilise it as animal feed.
  • The continued development of innovative new solutions, such as testing how food waste can be fed to Black Soldier Flies to create protein, which has the potential to be used as an alternative to soy animal feed.

In addition, Tesco will also be aligning executive pay performance targets to key sustainability measures, including reducing food waste. Tesco will be one of the first UK food retailers to do this. This means that 25% of the Performance Share Plan awards Executive Directors receive will depend on Tesco’s progress on key sustainability measures including gender and ethnicity representation, carbon reduction and food waste reduction in its own operations.

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group CEO, said: “While I’m proud of our progress in making sure good food doesn’t go to waste, we know there’s still more work to do. By accelerating our target to halve food waste in our operations by 2025 and aligning executive pay performance targets to this goal, we hope to drive further transformative change.

“However, the work we and our suppliers do won’t tackle the issue alone. We have long called for Government to introduce mandatory food waste reporting to help measure and judge if real action is happening. Action must be taken across the whole industry.”

Key to the business’ success to date has been its standout partnership with leading food redistribution charity FareShare. When Tesco first launched its food surplus redistribution programme in 2016, 11m meals were donated. Last year it was nearly 26m. Already, a total of over 140m meals have been donated to thousands of charities and community groups since the scheme began.

Also, by working directly with 107 of its global suppliers – an increase of 28 suppliers when compared to last year, to implement the Champions 12.3 Target Measure Act framework, it has helped to collectively reduce food waste loss and waste by 78,000 tonnes.

Tesco has also pioneered innovative ways to help colleagues and customers save money and reduce waste, which will also remain as a key part of their plan moving forward, including:

  • Giving colleagues the opportunity to take food approaching its expiry date home, for free.
  • Launching a bold campaign to cut food waste at home, supporting customers to save money and cut food waste by implementing a simple weekly food hack. The Tesco ‘use up day’ campaign could save the average family £260 a year simply by cooking a meal – once a week – using up food they already have in their kitchen.





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Today, Tesco highlights its accelerated plans to halve food waste in its own operations by 2025, five years ahead of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (by 2030). In a year of unprecedent challenges for retailers, suppliers and customers, tackling food waste has never been more urgent. It not only contributes to climate change, but…