Tesco to help tackle food waste with new partnership

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

The partnership will prevent 2,300t of food waste being sent back to food manufacturers
The partnership will prevent 2,300t of food waste being sent back to food manufacturers

Related tags Food waste Waste Food

A new partnership between Tesco and food re-distribution charity FareShare will help to tackle food waste by preventing 2,300t of surplus food being returned to UK food manufacturers every year, according to the retailer.

Tesco announced the partnership as part of World Food Day today (October 16).

“World Food Day is a timely reminder that food poverty is a growing problem in the UK and around the world,”​ said Tesco’s group corporate affairs director Rebecca Shelley. “Our scale puts us in a unique position to make a difference, so we’re building on our relationship with FareShare and through them, we will be giving all our surplus fresh food to those who need it most.”

Seven million meals

FareShare will give the food to more than 1,000 charities across the UK – providing the equivalent of 7M meals a year to people in need.

Tesco will deliver food items such as chicken, peppers, apples and other fresh fruit and vegetables directly to FareShare through its distribution network.

The partnership will help FareShare sponsored charities – including homeless shelters, breakfast clubs for children and luncheon clubs for the elderly – save an estimated £4M in the first year of the scheme. 

Lindsay Boswell, ceo of FareShare said: “Our partnership with Tesco will enable us to provide even more high quality, nutritious food to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  It will also mean the charities we support will save millions of pounds on their food bill, which they can invest into providing additional support services for their beneficiaries, helping to get people back on their feet.”

‘Missed opportunity’

Meanwhile, FoodDrink Europe claimed food waste was a missed opportunity to feed more people, a waste of resources and had broader environmental consequences – such as increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The trade body representing Europe’s food and drink manufacturers’ latest figures estimated about 90M tonnes of food waste was wasted annually in Europe, despite over 35M people being at risk of malnutrition.

FoodDrink Europe’s president Jesús Serafín Pérez said: “On the occasion of this year’s World Food Day, Europe’s food manufacturers are stepping up their efforts in the fight against food wastage, which is of critical importance to the building of more sustainable food systems.”

FoodDrink Europe is currently running a number of initiatives, such as ‘Every Crumb Counts’ and food wastage toolkit ‘Maximising Food Resources’ to prevent edible waste by sharing best practice and guidance throughout the industry.

View this infographic​ to see exactly how the partnership between Tesco and FareShare will work.

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1 comment

Wrong size/shaped food.

Posted by Geoffrey Philip,

Whatever happens to the misshaped wrong size food produced each year by the millions of tonnes? I feel sure that this food is perfectly safe to be consumed by people instead of being "wasted" by being sent to landfill sites or being composted, thus producing more greenhouse gases causing global warming. Or am I being told that I can't buy any of this produce because of EU regulations on food quality?

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