Tesco opens up supply chain to sustainability start-ups

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The new initiative will support sustainability start-ups
The new initiative will support sustainability start-ups

Related tags Supply chain

Supermarket chain Tesco has joined forces with WWF to launch an accelerator programme to fast-track food system innovation.

The new programme pairs start-ups with Tesco suppliers to fast-track sustainability innovation in the supply chain which can cut the environmental impact of food and support UK food security.

The aim of Innovation Connections ​is to address a key barrier preventing promising sustainability innovations from being adopted at scale in food supply chains, by identifying suppliers who can help to scale up new ideas and technologies.  

Applicants have been paired with long-term Tesco suppliers to pitch scale-up projects that apply their ideas in the real world of food supply chains.The winners will work with Tesco’s supplier partners to pilot and scale their innovation and will each receive up to £150,000 in funding support. 

Unlock innovation

Tesco is also calling on the UK government to do more to unlock innovation in UK food supply chains and support innovations. 

The supermarket chain has specifically asked the Government to set out timelines and process for updating “outdated regulations” that hinder the scaling up of late-stage innovations such as insect protein in animal feed or sustainable low-carbon fertilisers. 

Ken Murphy, Tesco Group ceo said: “To deliver affordable, healthy and sustainable food for all, the entire food sector must innovate fast. That’s why, as well as driving improvements in our own operations, Tesco is collaborating with innovative suppliers and start-ups. 

“But we also need government support, to help the food industry to scale proven innovations. The upcoming Food Strategy White Paper is a great opportunity to transform our food system and enhance food security. We hope the paper will set out a process to update outdated regulations that hinder the scaling up of much needed innovations.” 

Natural resources

Tanya Steele, WWF ceo said: “More than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions are driven by the way we produce and consume food, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

“It’s possible for farms to produce enough nutritious food and sustain farmers’ livelihoods at the same time as protecting and restoring the natural resources they depend on. 

WWF has also developed transparenC, the first open-source, free, traceability software for commodity supply chains. This cloud-based smartphone app and desktop web portal can be used anywhere by farmers, buyers, retailers, and everyone in between without paying licensing fees that can be a barrier for disaggregated supply chains, especially in developing countries.


Related topics Environment

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast